The Earth Organization is an international, independent, non-profit group which seeks to reverse the dwindling spiral of the plant and animal kingdoms and our environment through education and action.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

End of the game

CHRISTIAAN BAKKES

Originally published in the Namibian News - Environment | 2015-03-19
Re-posted from http://www.namibian.com.na/index.php?page=archive-read&id=134899


© Marcia Fargnoli
IT was a time to rejoice. It seemed to be the only logical way forward. The path had been laid out for us. The truth shone as clear as an unmuddied lake. We were bright-eyed and idealistic. Inspired and energetic. A brave new world.

It was the year 1995.

I had just joined Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC), a WWF-funded NGO that was charged with the responsibility of empowering local rural communities through conservation. The goal was to establish communal conservancies that would enable the people to take ownership of their wildlife and natural resources.


The year 1995 was also a time of good rain. The best in human memory. Springbok fawns abounded across the veld.

It was with pride that I drove my bakkie from village to village, seeking out the community game guards. I was amazed by the beauty of the landscape and the free-ranging wildlife. I was especially proud of the panda sticker on the bakkie door.

For me too it was a new beginning. I hailed from the Kruger Park where local people were kept away from wildlife with fences and guns. I was born into and benefited from an oppressive system. It was time to make amends. Give something back.

We were going to make impoverished rural communities benefit from their wildlife. At the same time we were going to conserve that same wildlife. I was part of that process.

For the last twenty years I was part of that process. I still am.

I remember the exciting conception period. Befriending the community members by keeping elephants out of their meagre fields. Winning their trust by saving their crops. Training community game guards and doing game counts. 

The communal conservancy legislation was passed through parliament in 1996.

After three years in IRDNC I joined a safari company in the Kunene region. I witnessed game lodges springing up all over communal lands. I saw agreements between conservancies and tour companies. Joint ventures for the benefit of all. Private operators would pay communities for the privilege of tourism on their land. Local community members would be employed and trained and empowered. I saw many young men and women grow into highly professional adults. It was a wonderful period of growth. It felt good.

The conservancy policy went even further. The conservancies were granted hunting rights. The conservancies made agreements with professional hunting enterprises. The conservancy members could also hunt for the pot and own use.

This was after game counts were conducted and quotas were worked out.

The good rains of 1995 turned into a wet cycle that lasted until 2011. It was a time of bounty. Plains game proliferated and black rhino numbers increased. More newborn elephant calves were noted among the small desert-adapted herds. The desert lion made a remarkable comeback. What a pleasure it was to take foreign travellers on a safari through this arid African Eden.

Soon the world took notice. Conservation awards started pouring in. Namibia was hailed as the world leader in community-based conservation.

There was enough for everybody. The money came trickling in. First slowly and then a little faster.

It was never a flood. But it was enough to whet the appetite for more.
Promises of wealth and riches created expectations. The expectations became too big. Then the rot set in.

The first signs of the decimation of wildlife came with the introduction of the shoot and sell policy. I first encountered it on the Giribes plains on the boundary of the Purros and Sesfontein conservancies. In this policy, outside contractors get permission to shoot plains game on a large scale to supply their butcheries elsewhere. This seemed to be a profitable venture for the conservancies.

I saw freezer trucks parked on the plains while gemsbok, springbok and zebra were being slaughtered and loaded. Bakkies were driving in different directions, returning with dead animals to be transported. On my second encounter with these shooting teams, the back registration plates of the freezer trucks were covered with duct tape.

In 2010, I encountered such a shooting party on the border of the Skeleton Coast Park. It was late November and a desert rain shower transformed the gravel plains to a green flush. There was a concentration of gemsbok, including several nursery herds. The cows had already given birth and it was no time or place to hunt gemsbok. The shooting parties of three bakkies were driving off-road and indiscriminately shooting into these herds. I reported this to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and was assured that the practice was perfectly legal. There was no MET official present during the shoot.

Later there were newspaper reports of a large quantity of dead zebras being left out in the sun to rot, after one of these freezer trucks broke down.

The road between Sesfontein and Purros is a beautiful drive. It used to abound with gemsbok and springbok. After shoot and sell was introduced, wildlife visibly diminished.

Elsewhere, signs of this practice also became visible.

Another alarming occurrence was the high mortality rate of elephants in the Purros conservancy. A recent study argues that the Hoarusib – Hoanib river elephant population has declined by 30% in the last 10 years. At least two cows and one bull were shot illegally. Another was wounded, recovered and then disappeared. Another was shot after it killed a tourist at a campsite. One died of complications with a radio collar. Orphaned calves disappeared and three elephants have emigrated upriver. The total resident elephant population at Purros at present numbers six individuals.

Purros has always served as a model of people and elephant co-existing and benefiting each other through tourism. That does not seem to be the case any more.

Black rhino poaching in the communal areas started in December 2012. The last isolated incident before that was two decades ago. The number of poached rhinos varies from source to source, the most conservative number being 18 in the Palmwag and Etendeka concessions and four more in the Uukwaluudhi conservancy to the north-east. I do not speak for poached rhinos outside the communal lands. The current spate of poaching has sparked bitter debate and accusations and counter-accusations. I will not dwell on that.

The facts are that only one arrest and conviction had been made – of a poacher caught at the beginning of the onslaught. Evidence points towards organised crime and intimidation. There is a cloak of silence over events. It seems as if conservancy or community members are harbouring criminals. Critically endangered species that stand as symbols of successful community-based conservation are being slaughtered. Why now? Why after all these successes?

Where have we gone wrong? Where are the flaws in our system? 

When I studied nature conservation in the mid-eighties it was drummed into our heads: “If it pays it stays.”

It seems that even for conservationists, wildlife and wilderness have no place if they cannot be of financial value to people. Never was this doctrine more evident than in community-based conservation in Namibia. It is all about money.
Financial benefits to the community were the focus. National pride, ethics, aesthetics and sound ecological practices shared a sad second place. If any place at all.

Everything must have a price tag

Our relentless quest for financial benefit bred one thing: GREED.
It set the stage for disaster. Enter a higher bidder and all principles go out the window.

The higher bidder has entered. Unscrupulous foreign investors, with a lot of financial backing, have come with a new incentive: wildlife products. Rhino horn, ivory, pangolin, lion bones, meat, hides, organs. Everything now has a higher price. It is “good business”.

Will we stand up to this new threat? Will good people be bought and corrupted? Will our ethics and principles and our connection to the wilderness prevail?

Our clinical and non-emotional approach towards wildlife and wilderness will not be enough to stem the new wave of exploitation. We must look into our hearts again. We must remember that we are part of nature. Not owners and manipulators. This earth will not tolerate our greed forever.

We as Namibians stand to lose our reputation as splendid conservationists. A reputation means nothing until you have lost it.

The other day we travelled for several days around the Brandberg. It is a magnificent area. Pristine arid habitat. We travelled through four communal conservancies. It was an area renowned for its desert-adapted wildlife. The ancient art on its rock faces bears testimony to that. It is also known as the most bio-diverse place in Namibia. The first rains have fallen and the grass was in seed. Our total game count was: Two Cape fox, three springbok and eight giraffe.

It seems we are failing.

* Chris Bakkes has been involved in conservation and ecotourism, mostly in Namibia's north-western areas, for more than two decades. He is an acclaimed author of eight books published in Afrikaans, with a selection of his work translated into English and published under the title 'Bushveld, Desert, and Dogs: a Game Ranger's Life' (Human & Rousseau) in 2012.

19 comments:

  1. $$$ GENUINE LOAN WITH LOW INTEREST RATE APPLY $$$
    Do you need finance to start up your own business or expand your business, Do you need funds to pay off your debt? We give out loan to interested individuals and company's who are seeking loan with good faith. Are you seriously in need of an urgent loan contact us.
    LOAN APPLICATION DETAILS.
    First Name:
    Last Name:
    Date Of Birth:
    Address:
    Sex:
    Phone No:
    City:
    Zip Code:
    State:
    Country:
    Nationality:
    Occupation:
    Monthly Income:
    Loan Amount:
    Loan Duration:
    Purpose of the loan:
    E-mail address:

    Email: shadiraaliuloancompany1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will remain grateful to Mr Richard Cole, I was in need of a loan of $200,000.00 to grow my business as it was crushing down,and to make my kids comfortable as a single Father left with 2 kids, while searching for help online. I met this honest and God fearing loan lender online Mr Richard Cole that helped me with a loan of $200,000.00 U.S. Dollars with a rate of 2% Only, he is indeed a God fearing man, working with a reputable loan company. If your business is dying or you want to construct your building and you need a support of a loan to make up, then Mr Richard is the right choice and you are 100% sure to pay back the loan please contact him on this email: easyfinancialservice@yahoo.com and inform them Piero Nofri directed you.. Thanks and God Bless you sir.

      Delete
  2. Do you need personal or business loan without stress and fast approval? If so, please contact us. herofinancein@gmail.com

    contact us now. herofinancein@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

  3. Hello Every One, My Name is zule and life is worth living comfortably for me and my family now and i really have never seen goodness shown to me this much in my life as i am a struggling mum with three kids and i have been going through a serious problem as my son encountered a terrible accident last weeks, and the doctors states that he needs to undergo a delicate surgery for him to be able to walk again, and i could not afford the bill for his surgery then i went to the bank for a loan and they turn me down stating that i have no credit card, from there i run to my father and he was not able to help, then when i was browsing through yahoo answers and i came across a loan lender Pastor Solomon who provides loans at an affordable interest rate and i have been hearing about so many scams on the internet but at this my desperate situation, i had no choice than to give it an attempt and surprisingly it was all like a dream, i received a loan of R 500,000 and i payed for my son surgery and thank GOD today he is okay and can walk and is working and the burden is no longer so much on me any more and we can feed well and my family is happy today and i said to my self that i will shout aloud to the world of the wonders of GOD to me through this GOD fearing lender Pastor Solomon and i will advise anyone in genuine and serious need of loan to contact this GOD fearing Man via pastorsolomon342@yahoo.com and i want you all to pray for this woman for me. THANKS

    ReplyDelete
  4. The new year to open a new hope and a new journey, Happy New Year!
    Do you need an urgent loan to clear your debts or you need a capital loan to improve your business? have you been rejected by banks and other financial agencies? Do you need a consolidation loan or a mortgage? search no more as we
    are here to make all your financial problems a thing of the past.This is Credit Center Financial Services (CCFC), we offer loans to those that are interested at an affordable interest rate of 3%. Amount range from R10,000.00 to a maximum of R10,000,000.00.
    Our loans are well insured as maximum security is our priority.
    INVESTORS ARE ALSO NEEDED.
    Contact us via email: creditcenter.co.za@gmail.com
    Best Regards
    GIVING YOUR WORLD A MEANING.

    ReplyDelete
  5. CASTLE Finance offers the lowest interest rates on loans compared to any other specialized lender. We make borrowing simple, easy and quick.
    Apply for your Loan Now, Personal Loans, Business Loans, Debt Consolidation, Car Finance, Home loans, Are you blacklisted or Bad Credit? Apply Now.

    If you are in need of a loan today, contact us for more information.


    Thank you

    John Morgan | Customer Support Associate
    CASTLE FINANCE LTD.
    EMAIL: loaninfo.co.za@financier.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. https://www.google.com.ng/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.nogalespsychological.com/Guestbook.php%3FGuestbook_CurrentPageNumber_245966%3D50&ved=0ahUKEwi6ldLXsYjUAhUEIlAKHU8HA8oQFggsMAY&usg=AFQjCNFaDsIAfd-iz82DPBGzC970qIZ6Wg&sig2=p4jbXYD2IO9J5KjCccWTQg

    ReplyDelete
  7. WELCOME TO CREDIT CENTER FINANCIAL SERVICES(CCFS)
    Are you a business man or woman? Are you in any financial mess or do you need funds to start up your own business? Do you need a loan to start a nice Small Scale and medium business? Do you have a low credit score and you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks and other financial institutes? Our loans are well insured for maximum security is our priority, Our leading goal is to help you get the services you deserve, EMAIL US: creditcenter.co.za@gmail.com
    Our loans Are well insured for maximum security is our priority, Our leading goal is to help you get the service you deserve, Our program is the quickest way to get what you need in a snap. Reduce your payments to ease the strain on your monthly expenses. Gain flexibility with which you can use for any purpose – from vacations, to education, to unique purchases. We offer a wide range of financial services which includes: Business Planning, Commercial and Development Finance, Properties and Mortgages, Debt Consolidation Loans, Business Loans, Private loans,car loans, hotel loans, student loans, personal loans Home Refinancing Loans with low interest rate at 3% for individuals, companies and corporate bodies. Get the best for your family and own your dream home as well with our General Loan scheme.
    Interested applicants should Contact us via email: creditcenter.co.za@gmail.com or creditcenter.co.za@mail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. A One Nepal Trek Pvt. Ltd. (your Trekking and Tour consultant since many years ago) is an ecologically perceptive Trekking Agency in Nepal specializing in giving you nepal, tibet , bhutan, the manner you want to peer it , also owned & managed by means of nearby experts Nepal Adventure Activities organization advocated through lonely planet Nepal journey guide e-book, lonely planet hiking in Nepal Himalaya ebook & trip marketing consultant. A One Nepal Trek Pvt. Ltd. & day trip is an Trekking Agency in Nepal, established with the aid of a crew of specialists worried tourism considering a long time for committed provide the provider a home away from domestic. a group of hospitable and expert geared up to welcome and escort you through recreational activities inclusive of trekking in Nepal, Nepal tour package, nepal journey bundle excursions, nepal trekking tour, Nepal Adventure in Himalaya, nepal top hiking, nepal air ticketing, nepal river rafting, nepal jungle safari, nepal sightseeing tour, excursion in nepal, kathmandu valley sightseeing, Nepal resort reservation, tibet tour, tibet trekking, bhutan tour, bhutan trekking.
    Local Trekking Company in Nepal established by Yam Bahadur Pant has over 20 years and reasonable cost and Custom Itinerary to All Valuable clients in Nepal. A One Nepal offer many type of Activities as Annapurna base camp, Everest Base Camp, Ghorepani Poon Hill, Upper Mustang, manaslu Circuit, Langtang Valley, Island Peak, Mera Peak and Many Others Activities in Nepal.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would like to say thank you to Destiny kings Loan finance for all the things they have helped me with. I have a large family, and every time we have had a crisis Destiny kings Loan finance has helped us out.need for extra money can arise at just about any time. they pride themselves on being able to meet your needs and provide a loan for just about any reason you may need. their process is 100% online, quick and simple. I thank God for the help they have provided to me and my family,email them today at {destinykingsfinance@yahoo.com

    Loans for Any Reason!

    Are you need a a loan? the need for extra money can arise at just about any time. We pride ourselves on being able to meet your needs and provide a loan for just about any reason you may need. Our process is 100% online, quick and simple.
    Apply Now mail: destinykingsfinance@yahoo.com
    +1(512) 643-3473

    {destinykingsfinance@yahoo.com}

    ReplyDelete
  10. DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL HELP? 5000$ to 100,000,000.00$
    No credit check
    Repaid over 1 Year
    Approval in 15-30 minutes
    Open 7 days a week from 24/7
    Service available nationwide
    E-MAIL - burgeesjason2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I will remain grateful to Mr Richard Cole, I was in need of a loan of $200,000.00 to grow my business as it was crushing down,and to make my kids comfortable as a single Father left with 2 kids, while searching for help online. I met this honest and God fearing loan lender online Mr Richard Cole that helped me with a loan of $200,000.00 U.S. Dollars with a rate of 2% Only, he is indeed a God fearing man, working with a reputable loan company. If your business is dying or you want to construct your building and you need a support of a loan to make up, then Mr Richard is the right choice and you are 100% sure to pay back the loan please contact him on this email: easyfinancialservice@yahoo.com and inform them Piero Nofri directed you.. Thanks and God Bless you sir.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How I Got A Loan From My God Fearing And Trusted Lender (ronnieloanscompany@gmail.com)

    Hello everyone My name is Harriet D. Forsyth resident at 1171 Lynn Street Milton, MA 02186. I want to use this medium to talk about the goodness of God in my life. I tried to get a loan on the internet and was scammed the sum of $2,100 I became so desperate in getting a loan from a legit lender online then a friend told me that there is a legit loan company where she got her loan fast and easy without any stress so she introduced me to a Man called Arthur Huseman, So i applied for a loan sum of ($60,000.00) with low interest rate (2%) so the loan was approved and deposited into my bank account that was how I was able to get my loan and I was able to pay off my bills and started a new business of my choice. I am advising everyone who is interested in getting a loan fast and easy to kindly contact them via email: (ronnieloanscompany@gmail.com) or Text (770)-917-2656, So thanks as you read the greatest testimony of my life and thanks be to GOD almighty for his goodness upon my life.

    Harriet D. Forsyth

    ReplyDelete

  13. ​Hello Sir / Madam,
    If you need urgent work to establish credit, or you need a loan to pay off
    your debt, you need a refinance loan? Do you need credit to buy a car or a house?If yes, worry no more, we offer all kinds of loans without credit check with an appropriate interest rate !!! Contact us today by email. (sterlingunicornfunds@gmail.com) for more info
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Do you need an urgent loan? We offer loans with a low interest rate.
    Whatever your circumstances,business loan, person loan, have a poor credit rating,
    contact for more info :unityfirmfinancialhelp@gmail.com
    Full Names:
    Date of Birth:
    Amount Needed:
    Purpose for Loan:
    Duration:
    Country:
    Mobile:
    The site you found our advert:
    Regards,
    On-line Advertiser/Announcer
    unityfirmfinancialhelp@gmail.com
    C/E/O
    Mr. Shahraban Mohammed
    Unity Firm Financial Help

    ReplyDelete

  15. dougjoelcomm0001@gmail.com
    Not all People are Hackers,Some are kids that just wants to play pranks on you. When it comes to database hacking,we are the best Hackers for the job. Our services includes: – improve your school grade – Hack your university grade – Upgrade your credit scores, -clone your partner phone -Database server hack -Facebook,Whatsapp,instagram,lots more Intrested parties should contact us at dougjoelcomm0001@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete



  16. Contact Email:dougjoelcomm0001@gmail.com Do you know that you can hack any ATM machine !!! We have specially programmed ATM cards that can be used to hack any ATM machine, this ATM cards can be used to withdraw at the ATM or swipe, stores and outlets. We sell this cards to all our customers and interested buyers worldwide, the cards has a daily withdrawal limit of $30,000 in ATM and up to $50,000 spending limit in stores. and also if you in need of any other cyber hacking services, we are here for you at any time any day. Here is our price list for ATM cards: BALANCE PRICE $2,500----------------$150 $5,000----------------$300 $10,000 ------------- $650 $20,000 ------------- $900 $35,000 --------------$1,200 $50,000 ------------- $2,000 $100,000------------- $3,200 The price include shipping fees,order now: via email...dougjoelcomm0001@gmail.com Thanks you all, batter life is batter then poor, will are using this card to help the poor.

    ReplyDelete

  17. I dont believe in too much talks and bragging! I’m a certified hacker who have helped so many STUDENT’S, COUPLES and BUSINESS MEN!!! CONTACT me if you want to change SCHOOL GRADES, CLEAR CRIMINAL RECORDS, RECOVER YOUR IMPORTANT EMAIL/SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT, WIRE FUNDS. If you have US, UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL OR GERMANY BANK ACCOUNT, Email me. I have Funds to Wire to any of the Country without any trace or monitor. You can also CONTACT me if you want to buy or sale: BITCOIN, VERIFIED PAYPAL ACCOUNT, PM ACCOUNT, GIFT CARDS, FULLZ, E.T.C
    message me at:dougjoelcomm0001@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Pmc Financial Trust Inc offers Fast; Convenient; Reliable+/-24 Hours to Approve! 90% Success Rate!

    Qualification:

    1. Blacklisted can apply
    2. No credit check
    3. Debt review or court order can apply
    4. ITC can apply for

    Apply for:

    Home Loans
    Personal Loans
    plus Debt Consolidation Loans
    Business Loans
    Payday Loan

    Email your document or reply to this advert for an application form by emailing us on:(Pmcfinancialservice@gmail.com)

    3 months Bank Statements
    Id copy (Clearly Visible)
    Contact number (Cell or Land) and amount you want

    Please reply to this ad today and get approved!!!!!!

    Interested Applicant should reply or send your request to this advert by emailing us at:Email Address :::


    Or Direct
    Pmcfinancialservices@gmail.com

    Or

    Pmcfinancier@financier.com

    ReplyDelete