The theme of the 2016 International Wildlife Ranching Symposium is: “Wildlife – the key to prosperity for rural communities”.
Wildlife ranching has shown tremendous growth in South Africa since 1990, with more than 11 000 ranches currently registered. In other Southern African states, improvement in biodiversity conservation by the private sector is also on the increase due to game ranching. The operational procedures of capture and translocation, veterinary research and ecological management over a wide range of species, has made wildlife ranching a successful economic enterprise leading to increased direct foreign investments. The economic and social impact will be discussed and will include aspects such as the fact that R21 billion income was generated to the local economy during 2014 and that the industry created 140 000 jobs in rural areas, with salaries that is 3x higher on average, which is 3x more than the equivalent domestic stock farming. This Symposium will serve to accentuate the potential of wildlife in other regions of Africa and the world, to not only lead to the conservation of the natural environment, but also to contribute significantly to the welfare of indigenous and rural communities.
The sustainable use of wildlife forms the basis of wildlife ranching. Sustainable use of wildlife is practiced in many parts of the world and therefore we wish to welcome participants from the world over to share experiences and practices from which all delegates can learn. In this way we can optimise biodiversity and the conservation of wildlife through sustainable use and encourage and support rural communities to create more long-term, sustainable wildlife ranches and conservancies, particularly in those areas where the bushmeat harvesting has serious impacts on the biodiversity.
On behalf of the people of Namibia, the organizing committee of the 9th IWRS invites you and welcomes you to a country that will make you feel so at home you will want to come back.