Namibia’s top ecologist has hit back against a letter in the Guardian newspaper against trophy hunting.
Dr Chris Brown, chief executive of the Namibian Chamber of Environment, has written an article saying the current campaign against trophy hunting is a western urban cultural imposition on the rights of rural African communities. He asks whether the Guardian is displaying ‘arrogant cultural superiority or ignorance’.
He writes: “The difference in views on trophy hunting between the western urban elite and that of the people of rural Africa is stark. In a recent letter to the Guardian, a group of public figures in the UK described trophy hunting as ‘cruel, immoral, archaic and unjustifiable’ and called for an end to global trophy hunting. In much of Africa, rural communities see all forms of sustainable hunting as legitimate use of their indigenous resources, in much the same way as western nations consider it their right to harvest fish, timber, deer, and use other natural resources for their livelihoods and economic growth.”
Brown goes on to ask: what is really behind the call for a ban on the import of wildlife trophies into the UK?
The Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) is an umbrella membership body for environmental NGOs in Namibia. The NCE currently has a membership of 64 environmental NGOs – well over 90% of all ENGOs in the country. Dr Brown is not a hunter. He has been a vegetarian since the age of 11 because of welfare issues around domestic animals, a former director of the Namibia Nature Foundation (for 12 years) and the first Director of the Directorate of Environmental Affairs in the Namibian Ministry of Environment & Tourism. He has a PhD in conservation biology and interests in the tourism industry in Namibia.