Mozambique Reaffirms Commitment to Sustainable-Use Conservation
By Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief
Mozambique’s Annual Sport Hunting Meeting was held in Maputo on May 5, 2017. It was highlighted by an appearance and speech by Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correira. He was widely quoted by African news outlets as announcing a “relaunch” or “reintroduction” of sport hunting as part of an initiative to build a sustainable international tourism industry. Of course, sport hunting in Mozambique has been active and productive for more than 10 years now. What the minister actually did was publicly acknowledge the important role sport hunting has in conservation of wildlife and habitat in Mozambique and its contribution to the country’s tourism industry. He also indicated an increased commitment from government to the sustainable-use model and the safari operators on which it depends.
“Today, game hunting represents the largest source of income for conservation areas in Mozambique. If we look into it, we see that in areas where there is sport hunting there is better conservation of the animals and they register an increase in the number of species,” the minister was quoted as saying.
Correira also recognized some of the challenges the industry deals with, including the continued activities of criminal poaching rings, difficulties importing hunting firearms and ammunition, and illegal human settlements, agriculture, and livestock grazing in hunting areas. These are among only a few of the challenges that safari operators face in Mozambique. Other challenges are government practices that are unfavorable to operating a safari business, both hunting and ecotourism….