By Stacy Fox
A new report released this week analyzes literature on the economics of trophy hunting and reveals that African countries and rural communities derive very little benefit from trophy hunting revenue. The study, authored by Economists at Large —commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW www.ifaw.org), The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and Born Free USA/Born Free Foundation—comes amid consideration to grant the African lion protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“The suggestion that trophy hunting plays a significant role in African economic development is misguided,” said economist Rod Campbell, lead author of the study. “Revenues constitute only a fraction of a percent of GDP and almost none of that ever reaches rural communities.”
As a portion of any national economy, trophy hunting revenue never accounts for more than 0.27 percent of the GDP. Additionally, trophy hunting revenues account for only 1.8 percent of overall tourism in nine investigated countries that allow trophy hunting, and even pro-hunting sources find that only 3 percent of the money actually reaches the rural communities where hunting occurs. While trophy hunting supporters routinely claim that hunting generates $200 million annually in remote areas of Africa, the industry is actually economically insignificant and makes a minimal contribution to national income.
“Local African communities are key stakeholders for conservation, and they need real incentives for conservation,” said Jeff Flocken, North American regional director, International Fund for Animal Welfare. “Non-consumptive nature tourism–like wildlife viewing and photo safaris–is a much greater contributor than trophy hunting to both conservation and the economy in Africa. If trophy hunting and other threats continue depleting Africa’s wildlife, then Africa’s wildlife tourism will disappear. That is the real economic threat to the countries of Africa.” More....