Legendary nature filmmaker, Dereck Joubert has vowed to fight the recommendations put forward by the Cabinet Sub Committee on Hunting Ban Social Dialogue with everything he has got. Joubert, who is the chief executive officer of Great Plains Conservation, compared the Cabinet recommendations to a cruel joke.
“At first, I thought it was a cruel April Fools’ Day announcement, but no one is laughing today. I have given this white paper a name and if it passes I believe it should be called ‘Botswana’s Blood Law’,” wrote Joubert on Friday.
The Cabinet Sub Committee has recommended that the hunting ban be lifted, development of a legal framework be created to enable an environment for growth of safari hunting industry and manage Botswana elephant population within its historic range. Other recommendations were that regular but limited elephant culling be introduced, there be establishment of elephant meat canning, and include production of pet food and processing into other byproducts.
Joubert reacted to the recommendations saying, “Whilst disturbing, I cannot for a moment believe that any government, let alone Botswana’s, which is world renowned for being moderate and well informed, would adopt this policy. We believe that it will be stopped in its tracks, but we are soliciting support to help express exactly how shameful it would be to institute a policy such as this”. He also said he will lead a campaign to block the recommendations from being made into law. “We will be voicing our opinion against this, as strongly as we can.
I will be doing that personally, as the CEO of this company, our foundation, and as large investors in Botswana. Great Plains Conservation will be doing the same. Our pledge to you, industry partners and guests, is that we will do whatever we can to engage legally and respectfully to make sure this ‘Blood Law’ is not passed in Botswana,” Joubert said.
Former president Ian Khama imposed the hunting ban in 2014 and it is alleged that he was convinced to summarily ban hunting by his bosom buddies, the Joubert family, without any consultation or concrete plan to mitigate the loss of income and other consequences like over population.
The Jouberts apparently reasoned that the photographic safari is the gold mine that could be a win-win for wildlife and humans.
However Khama, despite his power and connections, did not provide any plan to put indigenous Batswana into the photographic safari industry to prove its sustainability.