Hope all is well with you. I just want to take a moment and update you on the meeting held in Parliament – Cape Town on Tuesday and Wednesday (21st and 22nd August)
As you know information has already done the rounds on social media, which I am sure you have all seen, however I thought a bit more insight from my side and CPHC will give the rest of the exco and members, who were unable to attend, of what transpired.
First, a big thanks to Lizanne from SA Hunters for putting all the stats and info together, which was very ably presented by Paul.
The speaker and mediator on behalf of the Government who chaired the meeting informed the attendees that Government hold about 8 colloquiums a year on different topics, and this one on CBL was the 7th for the year, of which it was the best attended from past events – indicating how important this issue is to the industry, government and the country. I would hassard a guess that there were about 200 people there from all spheres involved in some way with this issue – and there was not a spare seat in the room. So CBL was getting some serious attention!
The hunting profession was represented by all the important role players, while the rest of the delegations were made up of various Government departments, Antis, NGOs, Scientists, Journalists etc.
I am not going to go into detail, but CPHC ‘s presentation was the best of all the other hunting delegates (and believe me I am not being biased here) as we blew the other guys out of the water with facts and not emotional rhetoric! This was obvious by the overwhelming support and acknowledgements that we received from a wide spectrum of the audience! We were approached and complimented by a lot of people for what we are doing and standing for within the Professional Hunting industry, and I even had an interesting conversation with one of the “bunny huggers” (not sure from what association) who did admit that even though they don’t support, like or condone hunting of any sort, they do understand its place in conservation if it is done responsibly with transparency and accountability, and they appreciated CPHC’s openness to engage with all role players and not treat them with disdain, as has been done in the past. A massive feather in our cap methinks!!
One thing that I did notice that did come through in discussions, and what seemed to be the more common thread throughout the meeting was the trade in lion bones and the increase of quota that the government authorised. Hunting of CBL was definitely in the discussions and there was a fair amount of talk and interaction on this, but to me it did not seem to be as emotive as the bone trade at the time. Personally I think once CPHC had presented our facts on CBL there seemed to be a better understanding and acceptance on the situation, in as much as people there realised that at least a group of hunters are standing up and taking responsibility for the past negatives of the industry and not shying away from the problems. This may have somewhat put them at ease to concentrate a bit more on the bone trade issues.
We were warmly received, and one could see a very positive shift towards CPHC’s thinking- especially when other delegates had their turn to speak, as CPHC was often referenced, quoted and mentioned in their talks as being the preferred “go to ” association in the hunting industry!
I think in the last 8 months since CPHC was formed, we have made massive inroads into areas where previously there was fear to tread, and we can all pat ourselves on the back for what has been achieved at this meeting for both hunting and CPHC.
As we all know our hard work is only just beginning, and I have no doubt we are going to make a huge difference for the future of hunting in SA and Africa.
Keep up the good work boys and I am proud to be in the trenches with you all.
Mark de Wet