Somaliland: Does the Ministry of Environment Generate Income from Tourism and Wildlife?

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Mohamed Egge KileyBy: Mohamed Egeh Kiley

Somalilandsun – The answer is no!! Why? Because game animals are poached. Birds both land birds and sea birds are poached by poachers or Game Hunters along the sea-coast and sub-coastal plains. Sea turtles, fish and dugongs are also under fishing presume by Gulf of Aden States and other foreign fishing ships and boats in the territorial, stop or minimize the pressure, I as distinguished (Hal-Door) wildlife manager and environmentalist, succeeded to contact and bring to Somaliland an organization called “Steve Kobrine Safari” which operates in Africa to protect and develop wildlife management, and which operates in the following African countries:

1. Uganda

2. Ghana

3. Zambia

4. South Africa

5. Cameroon

6. Morocco

7. Botswana

8. Ethiopia

9. Tanzania

10. ? Somaliland to fill the number ten post being our accepted desire with that organization of Steve Kobrine Safari activities as shown under:

“In the Horn of Africa and specifically Somaliland is home to a great number of endemic wildlife species. Species such as Beira antelope, Spekes gazelle, Pelzens Gazelle, Dibatag, Philips Dik dik, Striped Hyena, are all fond in Somaliland. These and other species have suffered a continual decline in numbers from drought, overgrazing and especially indiscriminate and unregulated hunting from hunters from the Gulf States. Urgent action must be taken before these species are lost forever. It has proven throughout Africa and the World that a strictly controlled sustainable hunting program is the only answer to generate the large funding needed to properly protect animal species.

Markhor are a type of wild goat native to the high mountains of Pakistan. They were poached for centuries by local herders. In an effort to save the Markhor from imminent extinction conservationists set up a sustainable hunting program which would benefit the local people who lived in the mountains with the Markhor. Proceeds from the hunting monies were given back to the locals and when the Markhor were given a value they became dedicated to protecting them. Today old male Markhor are hunted and the herds are thriving.

This is just one of the many examples throughout the world where private hunting based conservation programs have single handedly saved entire species. Only by giving individual animals value and sharing those benefits with the local people who live near or amongst those animals can you have nay chance of preserving them. We will be harvesting only male animals. The model used throughout the Africa has been that it is sustainable to harvest 5% of a given species population as trophy male animals. To harvest 5 male animals per year there must be a population of 100 hundred animals. Surely there are several thousand of each species listed so the proposed quota of 5 of each species is very conservative and very sustainable.

The program will change the way wildlife is being used and introduce respect to the resource. The program will introduce a form of tourism that will benefit all stakeholders – the Government of Somaliland, community people, the tourist industry, build technical capacity and employment opportunities (wildlife guards, tourist guide, skinners, camp servers, etc.), thereby bringing respect to this renewable natural resource which is so capable of sustaining livelihood, income generation, and employment opportunities. The focus here is to encourage local communities to proactively participate as the custodian of the resource by taking the necessary measures to discourage illegal or unorthodox practices.

In Somaliland where the enforcement of Laws governing the use of wildlife is non-existent, the conservation, protection, management and utilization of the resource becomes very difficult, if not at all impossible. Present use of the resource is troubling by the way and manner it is exploited. Realizing the need to bring the situation under some control and proper management regime. It intends to introduce a revolutionary approach to reduce wastage, increase revenue to government and improved livelihood to the community people living proximal to the demonstration project. This is where the sustainable trophy hunting blueprint has been used successfully throughout the world. The project will demonstrate proper management, conservation practices, protection and utilization of the resources in the concession area.

Wildlife is precious, especially the diversity of species present in Somaliland. We should be more proactive and expedient in making the maximum use of this resource by appreciating their benefits as a resource that can benefit most, if not all, our people. If wisely utilized, wildlife could become an invaluable asset to all.

This document is to propose a five year trial run for a hunting safari program to test the economic, job-creating and viability potential. A five year period is required because finding concentrations of game, changing local perceptions, and realizing a positive result in animal numbers will be a long process. Within this period, all activities will be documented which would include, but not limited, to the following:

a. Identifying the areas of game concentrations

b. Determination of the feasibility of the target species to withstand exploitation in safari hunting;

c. Harvesting with international hunters the species on the quota

d. Introduction and enforcement of regulations within the project area adjacent to communities;

e. Introduction public awareness about the need and benefits of this program;

f. Reception of local communities to the program;

g. Promotion of the program globally;

h. Provide the local communities with revenue for every animal harvest

i. Assessment of revenues and benefits to local communities

j. Evaluation of the project

Proposed trophy fees for Somaliland game

These fees listed below are in the range of other African countries which have established hunting programs such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Cameron, Central African Republic, Zambia, South Africa, etc. The fee listed will be paid to the ministry when a species is taken. A Conservation Fee listed below will be paid to the local community.

Trophy fee paid to government  Conservation fee paid to local Community

Beira Antelope $2,500                               $1,000

Spekes Gazelle $1,200                                $500

Pelzens Gazelle $1,200                                 $800

Gerenug $1,800                                           $800

Dik Dik $300                                                $100

Soemmerrings gazelle $1,800                          $800

Striped Hyena $500                                       $200

Spotted Hyena $500                                       $200

Warthog $300                                                $250

Jackal $300                                                    $150

Aardvark $300                                                 $150

Lesser Kudu $2,000                                          $850

Honey Badger $300                                           $150

Aardwolf $300                                                   $150

Fox $250                                                          $100

If all species are taken on a safari then government will receive $13,800 per each hunter. With five of each species that will equal $69,000 dollars for the Ministry every year. The local communities will also receive $6,200 and a possible yearly earnings of $31,000. That equals $100,000 entering the Somaliland economy per annum for a resource which generates no income at all. That does not include the money which will be spent on hotels, food and lodging, fuel, vehicle rental, etc. This will also easily amount to another $100,000

We request a letter from the Minister authorizing the hunting of 5 animals of each species per year for Steve Kobrine Safaris.

We would like this project to commence immediately and would appreciate any assistance in this ground breaking new project to help conserve Somaliland’s wildlife”.

Steve Kobrine and Lupo Santasilia arrived Berbera International Airport on March 15th 2013. They spent Saturday night in Mansoor Hotel of Berbera. The next day – Sunday 17th March, they arrived Hargeisa and were taken to the Minister of Environment who ignored to receive them. They spent Monday night in Mansoor Hotel Hargeisa. They had their legal valid Entry Visas, sent by the Ministry of Environment and Rural Development through the Somaliland Immigration Department before. The two environmental tourists never repeat never gone for hunting game nor for catching but came for permission and discussion with the Minister of Environment to implement in Somaliland very important environmental and management project like the other above listed African States.

In the beginning they contacted me in Awdal Region from the ” The College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka, Moshi ” Tanzania were I was trained in wildlife management 1973—1974, where they got my recent address, I gave copies of their correspondence each to:

1. The Minister,

2. The Director General,

3. And the Game Section Officer.

It is completely untrue what the minister said about the two Environmental Experts, who came to implement environmental development projects in Somaliland like the other above mention successful African countries. To me (Hal-Door) Mohamed Egeh Kille, Their Quest and Visit to Somaliland Amounts to Recognition of Somaliland in the Eyes of the World.

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