Western animal rights groups worse than poachers

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THE book Western Celebration of African Poverty – Animal Rights Versus Human Rights focuses on one of the most frustrating realities in Africa. 

The continent is resource-rich, but poor. 

Despite Africa’s poverty challenges, the book illustrates glimpses of poverty-reducing possibilities in rural southern Africa, under the programme called Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).

The CBNRM initiative enables rural communities to benefit from wildlife. 

It is a mind-set changing development approach, whose benefits have transformed former hardcore poachers into absolute wildlife conservationists. 

It has made very traditional communities that used to resist family planning embrace it, in order to avoid overpopulation that would displace wild animals from land set aside for wildlife conservation.

The former UN Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretary-General (1982-1990) and Switzerland-based IWMC-World Conservation Trust President, Mr Eugene Lapointe, endorsed the book in the foreword: “Western Celebration of African Poverty has something for everyone who cares about wildlife, wild places and human dignity in the developing world,” said Lapointe. 

“I cannot recommend this book highly enough.”

Why I wrote the book

I wrote this book in order to truthfully tell Africa who and what is blocking it from implementing a successful conservation and development initiatives that benefit both its people and wildlife’s wellbeing.

I want all Africans and friends of Africa, to know that if this outsider influence continues to scandalously block any scientifically justified grounds for African countries to benefit from their wildlife use, through trade. 

I call these trade bans unjustified trade sanctions, which have laughably failed to save a single rhino and elephant! 

The ban on rhino horn and ivory is in force, but the media worldwide is awash weekly with rhino and elephant poaching stories, including illegal trade in these products. 

When an experiment fails, an alternative should be sought. That alternative includes wildlife hunting, international trade in rhino horn and ivory.

I would like every African to stop being brainwashed into poverty, by those who unjustifiably ban trade in our wildlife and its products.

We are nobody’s experiment. 

Trade, not aid will save African people and their wildlife from poverty and extinction, respectively.

Africa’s renowned elephant expert and CEO of South Africa-based True Green Alliance who has written 15 books, eight of the on wildlife conservation and seven of them on his memoirs describes the book as: “This is rare much-needed book on the shelves of our bookstores today.”

I have concluded in the book that these groups are worse than poachers!

By denying communities the opportunity to benefit from hunting, the animal rights groups harmfully make the communities see no reason to protect wildlife and force them to collaborate with poachers. 

Therefore, animal rights groups are worse than poachers because they cause more harm to wildlife than poachers.

Without community support, poachers are less harmful to wildlife. 

But with support from communities, poachers kill more wildlife than they do when communities don’t support or collaborate with them. 

That’s why in the SADC region we have the wildlife conservation slogan: “Use it or lose it.” 

The fate of African wildlife lies in the hands of communities co-existing with it.

The animal rights groups are not progressive because they continue to violate human rights by failing to balance animal rights with human rights. 

They put animals above human beings. 

He also notes that the animal rights groups are cowards who tell the African race (black and white Africans) not to hunt, not to trade in ivory, rhino horn, including live elephants and rhinos, yet they don’t tell non-African race countries to stop trading in climate-change causing oil that harms both wildlife and people worldwide.

The book provides new thinking around conservation and development by questioning why some animal rights groups captured African journalists and media outlets blindly blame African governments for failing to grow their economies, yet they are the ones who, ironically, lobby to prevent their governments from economic growth through publishing stories that oppose hunting, ivory and rhino horn trade, including trade in live elephants and rhinos, etc. 

Where on earth can a country grow economically without sustainable trade in its abundant resources as oil-producing countries do? 

The book warns Africans not to allow Western forces to continue ‘green-washing’ them into poverty. 

If this trend doesn’t stop, Africa will needlessly continue to be resource-rich but poor.

Emmanuel Koro is a Johannesburg-based international award-winning environmental journalist who has written extensively on environment and development issues in Africa.

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