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Namibia to lose N$260m over UK’s anti-trophy hunting bill

Written by on July 9, 2024

Namibia stands to lose more than N$260 million annually in potential revenue from the hunting industry due to the decision by the United Kingdom’s ruling Labour Party to implement an anti-trophy hunting bill.

In 2022 minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta said the banning of hunting trophy imports by the United Kingdom (UK), Belgium and Finland may have negative consequences for Namibia and its wildlife.

“We understand their intention is to protect animal species hunted in Namibia and other African countries – an intention that is shared by the Namibian government,” he said.

Shifeta at the time said Namibia’s wildlife population generates 13,6 million euros (about N$260 million) in annual hunting revenue and employs more than 6 000 people in rural areas.

Namibia plans to take on the new UK government on its stance on the anti-trophy hunting bill, as well as the immigration laws the Conservative Party has previously enforced.

The Labour Party swept to power last week after winning the country’s general election.

It has been pushing a ban on importing hunting trophies to the UK, which has moved a step closer to becoming law with a vote by the UK’s members of parliament.

The Namibia Professional Hunting Association (Napha) has previously said trophy hunting accounts for about 3% of tourists to Namibia, but 20% of tourism revenue.

Pohamba Shifeta
Romeo Muyunda


Namibia’s high commissioner to the UK, Linda Scott, yesterday said Namibia, together with other affected southern African countries, namely Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, is disappointed with the Labour Party being committed to an anti-trophy hunting bill.

“Such a bill would certainly undermine the strong and positive contribution to communities in the region that environment conservation has made to the development of and to those communities, to tourism in those areas, and to conservation,” she said.

Scott said the Labour Party has committed to consultation with affected countries in southern Africa to examine the vital role hunting revenue plays in funding conservation programmes, local communities and anti-poaching protections across southern Africa.

“Namibia and other countries in the region which have a far better track record in conservation than much of Europe, emphasise that an anti-trophy hunting bill would undermine the strong and positive contribution to those communities,” she said. Environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda yesterday said: “These proposed bans will potentially harm Namibia’s conservation. This development is astonishing and Namibia condemns such intentions and questions their basis.”

He said the German and European ban would inevitably harm Namibia’s species conservation strategy.

“Tourists from Europe play a crucial role in hunting and subsequently in Namibia’s conservation. To this effect, Namibia, through the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, appeals to European countries to take into consideration Namibia’s unique situation before a final decision is made,” he said.

Muyunda said sustainable hunting has provided income generation and employment opportunities for Namibia’s citizens.

“Conservation is a costly exercise for Namibia and its citizens. The government invests a lot of resources and time in preserving our wildlife resources.

“At the same time, our people endure unpleasant interactions with wildlife in the form of conflict,” he said. This conflict, Muyunda said, has resulted in the death of 55 residents since 2019, with 84 people sustaining injuries.

“Sustainable hunting is a key component of conservation in Namibia. Revenue generated from conservation hunting is used in the preservation of habitat, ensuring human rights and sustaining the thriving wildlife economy through photo and hunting tourism,” Muyunda said.

In March, British broadcaster BBC reported that the Namibian Association of Community-Based Natural Resource Management Support Organisations director Maxi Louis, accused UK members of parliament of meddling in the country’s affairs.

The continent’s nations had “gained their independence from the colonial powers” a century ago, she said, but “when it comes to our wildlife, the British parliament keeps forgetting”.

Linda Scott
Keir Starmer


The UK’s new prime minister, Keir Starmer, has confirmed that the Labour Party would resume processing asylum applications for those who have previously arrived in the UK illegally.

Under a law passed in July last year, tens of thousands of such people, including those who arrived on small boats, are effectively blocked from gaining refugee status.

Scott said Starmer has committed to addressing issues related to the immigration situation in the UK.

“Namibia will be following up on this area of concern,” she said.


Scott expressed how recent exploration efforts have revealed extensive deposits of rare earth minerals, oil and gas within Namibia’s borders.

She said the development of existing uranium and gold reserves would solidify the nation’s position as a holder of significant natural resources and Namibia possesses vast potential for renewable energy generation.

Namibia’s dedication to fostering a renewable energy sector aligns perfectly with the priorities of the UK’s Labour government, she said.

International relations public policy analyst Marius Kudumo says Namibian and UK foreign policy would change significantly as a result of the election of a new ruling party.

“Self-interest in terms of commerce and market access has been and will continue to be at the core of international relations, especially for governments. Both countries support an international system based on laws,” he says.

The post Namibia to lose N$260m over UK’s anti-trophy hunting bill appeared first on The Namibian.

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