Botswana’s hunting ban caused financial losses
The Botswana government said it carried out extensive consultations before making the decision to lift its ban on hunting.
The country is a sanctuary for around 130,000 elephants – a third of those left in Africa after poaching has reduced numbers across the continent.
But having so many, leads to conflict with a growing population of humans. Farmer’s crops have been destroyed and people killed.
There’s debate over whether hunting will increase or decrease the elephant population, but well-regulated hunting can be used as a conservation tool if the money raised by killing some animals is put back into conserving others.
Botswana had large areas reserved for hunting before the suspension came into place five years ago and rural communities serving them suffered a loss of income.
The decision will be criticised by conservationists opposed to any form of elephant trade, those who believe it will affect the country’s lucrative luxury safari industry, and others who believe the move is more about populist politics in an election year.