Washington, D.C. — H.O.P.E. Chief Operating Officer, Catherine E. Semcer, delivered an invited presentation last week at the 14th meeting of the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) hosted by South Africa in Limpopo Province.
This keystone meeting, organized by Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF), brought together government officials, conservation NGOs and a diverse group of wildlife stakeholders from thirteen countries to share perspectives on crucial issues facing Africa’s wildlife, including the ongoing poaching crisis. Ms. Semcer’s presentation served to introduce attendees to H.O.P.E.s capabilities and programs and stressed the essential links between the sustainable use of wildlife and counter-poaching efforts.
“Hunting provides essential economic incentives for wildlife conservation in rural communities not blessed with the scenery and other elements necessary to support photo-tourism,” said Semcer. “These are the areas, which rarely receive attention from the media or large NGOs, where H.O.P.E. operates. Without the presence of the hunting industry to provide economic incentives for healthy wildlife populations, our job would be exponentially harder.”
Similar viewpoints are held by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), who sent a representative to the meeting to review the leading issues relevant to Africa that will be addressed at upcoming CITES meetings in 2016.
Additionally, representatives of assembled African governments provided reviews of existing anti-poaching programs and identified new resources and opportunities that can contribute to ending the poaching crisis.
H.O.P.E. is grateful to our partners at Safari Club International Foundation for giving us this opportunity to share our viewpoints and forge new partnerships on the African continent. We also thank the Government of South Africa for hosting the assembled delegates.
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