Wildlife in Trade Programme

Wildlife Ranching Project

The Endangered Wildlife Trust's Wildlife Ranching Project aims to assess the contribution of wildlife ranching to the green economy of South Africa, by highlighting the benefits that game farming brings to the national economy, employment, food security and conservation through personal interviews with operators. Practically speaking, a green economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Responsibility for environmental conservation in South Africa is increasingly becoming a private land issue. Governments in developing countries typically tend to show apathy towards wildlife conservation and will rather support mining and industrial opportunities. It seems that wildlife ranching is not yet seen as an enabler to South Africa’s green economy, yet sustainability is the path that allows humanity as a whole to maintain and extend quality of life through diversity of life. Halting biodiversity loss and ensuring ongoing ecosystem functioning may be the only way that all South Africans will enjoy a healthy and sustainable future, in line with constitutional promises.

The EWT study aims to highlight the benefits that game farming brings to the national economy, employment, food security and conservation. A wildlife production unit in this study are defined as a piece of fenced, privately owned land, which is fully or partially stocked with wildlife. Such wildlife is directly or indirectly utilised for commercial purposes, for conservation, or for own usage. Livestock and other agricultural practices may also occur on such a wildlife production unit. Despite its size and economic importance, there is remarkably little research or political economic understanding of the wildlife sector in South Africa and some risk that conservation, economic, and employment gains will be undone in the politically charged debate over land restitution.

Project Leader

Dr. Andrew Taylor - Project Manager - andrewt@ewt.org.za