VOL. 12 (10) - 01-03-2016
NHSA Policy Document
NHSA POLICY ON INVOLVEMENT IN CONSERVATION
The NHSA stance on conservation is directed by adherence to the content and stipulations contained in the following sets of internationally accepted conservation policy guidelines:
International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN):
- 1980; World Conservation Strategy A position that acknowledges the close link between sustainable use and sustainable development;
- 1991; Caring for the Earth A Strategy for Sustainable Living
- 2004; World Conservation Congress, (Bangkok, Thailand) Recognition of hunting’s position in, and contribution to, biodiversity conservation through sustainable use of renewable natural resources, in specifically southern Africa.
United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP):
- 1987; Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development defines the concept of sustainable development as: “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”;
- 1992; Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - “…to pursue the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including appropriate access, appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, and appropriate funding”.
- 2004; Addis Ababa Guidelines and Principles for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity A framework for assisting Governments, indigenous and local communities, resource managers, the private sector and other stakeholders, about how to ensure that their uses of biological diversity will not lead to its long-term decline.
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED):
- 1992; Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro – Rio declaration – compilation of 27 principles to guide sustainable use in a global context – known as the Agenda 21 principles od the UN.
NHSA's position on conservation is thus built on the prescripts of the above mentioned sets of guidelines, and is set out in the following three inter-dependant sets of principles:
Understanding conservation to be the responsible sustainable use of renewable natural resources, and the acceptance of accountability for the appropriate management of relevant processes to achieve same.
- Conservation is a common responsibility; the association accepts the shared responsibility for the responsible management of sustainable use of renewable natural resources with all other sectors of our society;
- Conservation implies equity; the association shares the viewpoint of equitable sharing of all benefits to accrue through responsible sustainable use among all section of the South African society;
- The hunt is an integral part of achieving sustainable use; hunting which takes place in the context of an accountable code of conduct or hunters’ code, is an integral part of the responsible management of processes to achieve sustainable use.
The NHSA conservation focus on the indigenous wildlife of South Africa.
- Conservation activities cannot be focussed on rare and endangered species alone; all species have the same right to conservation;
- Conservation activities must be focused on populations of species and not on individuals of species (populations are more important than individuals);
- Conservation activities must include conservation of habitat of species as the most important component of the specie’s future existence;
- Conservation of ex situ populations of species will only be supported if such is scientifically proven to be of utmost importance for the future survival of the species.
NHSA submits to all official conservation guidelines contained in all sets of Legislation, Ordinances, Regulations, or Proclamations which have been issued on all levels of government.
- NHSA maintains the right to render positive critique on the purpose and / or the management and / or the application of such sets of legislation on any of the three levels of government;
- NHSA declares its preparedness to work with any level of governmental conservation body or with any non-governmental organisation, on any institution or body, which will or can achieve the purpose of conservation through responsible sustainable use;
- NHSA or its members in name of NHSA, will not participate in any form of enforcement of conservation legislation, without such action having per complete motivation, first been approved by NHSA's Executive Council.
- NHSA and its members subscribes to, and applies where its possible, the principle of reporting any form of misconduct regarding hunting or conservation legislation of any of its members, without prejudice, to appropriate authorities, as it has been prescribed in the Association’s accreditation as hunting association with the Department of Environment and Tourism.
PARTICPATION IN CONSERVATION PROJECTS OR PROGRAMMES
NHSA participates and supports the following conservation activities through mandated representatives in name of the Association, within the context and domain of its conservation policy, and with a scientific and factually based approach, and which participation or support will not be influenced by any donor, sponsor, partner, or corporative member:
- The formulation of policy, legislation, ordinances, and regulations on local, provincial, and national government level, which is aimed at the management of nature conservation in South Africa;
- The appropriate support of any statutory conservation institution’s conservation activities within the framework of sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits;
- The support of conservation activities of non-governmental institutions within the framework of sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits;
- The initiation, implementation and management of community-based conservation projects, which have sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits as important focus;
- In situ conservation activities focussed on indigenous flora and fauna within their defined natural habitats and distribution areas, where such conservation activities have been indicated as being of utmost importance for the future existence and sustainable use of such species;
- Conservation focussed research in order to attain information which is important for the future existence of a specific specie;
- Activities focussed on the conservation and or improvement of habitat in order for ecological processes associated with such habitats to function properly;
- Ex situ conservation activities associated with indigenous species fauna and flora only where such activities have been indicated as being of utmost importance for such species’ survival by internationally recognised conservation institutions;
- Support for programmes of conservation and hunting related transfer of skills and knowledge to the previously disadvantaged sections of the South African society, so as to secure a knowledge base on ground level in support of the hunting industry, and with the creation of small and medium sized conservation enterprises in rural areas as focus;
- The enhancement of conservation as life principle and the establishment of a conservation ethic among all NHSA members, all hunters, and the whole of the South African society;
NON-PARTICIPATION IN CONSERVATION PROJECTS
NHSA will not participate or support the following conservation activities:
- Projects in which alien species of fauna and flora are involved, unless such activities are focussed on the control and management of such species;
- Rehabilitation of indigenous species fauna where the re-introduction of rehabilitated animals is not a focus;
- Projects where the ecological basis and habitat of the specific species is not also a specific focus of the project
- Projects where animal rights is in any manner part of the focus;
- Projects focussed on breeding of indigenous species, unless such project has been indicated as of the utmost importance for the survival of the specie;
- Projects in which the treatment or handling of animals are perceived to be inhumane;
- Projects of which the capture, handling, darting, killing or keeping of wild animals are part, and for which no approval from standing scientific ethical committees have been attained;
- Academic research projects or programmes of which the focus is research for the sake of research;
- Conservation activities through which individuals and not the broader South African conservation community accrues advantage.