Minister Molewa addresses the "Keep Calm and Let Africa Take the Lead” conference

 06 March 2018, European Parliament, Brussels

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa has addressed the "Keep calm and let Africa take the lead” conference through a recorded video message this morning, Tuesday 06 March 2018. The conference is currently taking place in Brussels, Belgium under the theme: Supporting communities in wildlife conservation through African-EU dialogue.”

The goal of the meeting is to bring together European and African decision-makers, together with stakeholders from across the spectrum, to understand the leadership of African range countries in the management and conservation of their wildlife and the role that local communities play in these management and conservation activities.

In her address, Minister Molewa reiterated South Africa’s approach to wildlife management should benefit both wildlife and our people. “South Africa is committed to promoting responsible hunting that is conducted in line with the applicable legislation,” she said

Minister Molewa reported that trophy and meat hunters respectively contributed R1.9 and R8.6 billion to the economy in the 2015-2016 hunting season. Hunting further contributes to food security in the form of healthy free-range lean protein of between 31 000 and 87 000 tonnes per annum.

South Africa, through the Department of Environmental Affairs will continue to cooperate with other countries through bilateral and multilateral platforms, asserting a position that recognises sustainable use as a critical component of conservation and promotion of livelihoods especially in rural areas.

“This help to secure areas where rural communities are still very dependent on the natural resource base for survival,” said Minister Molewa. 

Minister Molewa also cautioned that illegal wildlife trade, illegal hunting or poaching and any form of animal cruelty is strictly prohibited by law in South Africa. “We therefore reject the notion that equates legally and regulated hunting with poaching or other forms of illegal wildlife activities,” she said.

South Africa has invested massively in the fight against poaching and all forms of illegal wildlife trade. This include a multi-disciplinary approach, working together with among others the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security structures and local communities.

The conference is hosted by Member of the European Parliament Karl-Heinz Florenz, President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on “Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside”, and organised in coordination with the Federation of Association for Hunting and Conservation of the EU (FACE), the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO) and Safari Club International (SCI).

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