SUCo-SA and PASA Biodiversity Indaba 2024

Biodiversity Indaba 24

Antonie and the SUCO-SA team at the Biodiversity Idaba in Johannesburg, representing PASA and networking with all the different roll players in the industry. Thank you, Antonie, for making the time and your effort.

Much appreciated.
On behalf of all the PASA members.

Biodiversity Indaba and Investment Summit Indaba

Panel Discussion on “Balancing Wildlife and the Economy”,

“What are the available mechanisms to increase the number of animals including big five for trophy hunting, game meat production and other byproducts, especially in community-owned areas and privately owned land?”

Presented by Pieter Swart
Chair, SUCo-SA

The South African wildlife model is a success story in conservation and sustainable use. With two primary mechanisms for maintaining and expanding animal populations being

public domain reserves and
privately owned game ranches –

South Africa has excelled in wildlife management practices, setting international standards.
In fact, we are world leaders

The various associations within the wildlife value chain are another important mechanism. These include wildlife ranching and breeders’ associations, hunting and auxiliary service providers such as the taxidermy association.

They aim to self-regulate, set standards , best practices , offer training and work with stakeholders to ensure the sustainable use of wildlife resources. Their efforts are driven by a commitment to conservation, economic development, and community empowerment.

South Africa’s success in wildlife conservation and utilization relies on effective management practices and collaboration between various stakeholders.

Captive breeding programs, such as the Rhino, African Grey Parrot, and Nile crocodile, showcase our proficiency in wildlife management.

By demonstrating the economic value of wildlife through activities such as hunting, tourism, and venison production, we incentivize conservation efforts and ensure the viability of wildlife populations.

This creates numerous job and economic opportunities, for both individuals and communities….but we must guard against unrealistic expectations.

Constraints and Solutions:

Despite our achievements, several constraints hinder the full realization of our goals:

1. Regulatory Frameworks:

Streamlining permit and administrative systems is essential to create an enabling environment for wildlife economy.

The recent TOPS regulations have eased transportation of wildlife products between provinces, but included abundant and common species on the list- further improvements are necessary.

2. Quotas and Regulations:

Issuing of quotas for hunting and export of certain species, such as Elephant, Leopard, and Black Rhino, requires careful consideration to balance conservation objectives with sustainable use.

3. Challenges from Anti-Use NGOs:

Campaigns against hunting and wildlife utilization pose challenges to our industry.

Collaboration with scientific experts and government institutions is crucial to counter misinformation and advocate for evidence-based policies.

True science from knowledgeable field ecologists, rather than desktop research must prevail.

4. Market Access

Restrictions imposed by shipping companies and airlines on the transportation of wildlife products impede market access.

We call for support in accessing new international, regional, and local markets to enhance the economic viability of wildlife businesses.

Multi departmental cooperation is essential as often issues fall more within Trade and Industry, or International Relations, for instance.


1. Policy Support

Continued support from government agencies in creating an enabling regulatory environment is essential.

This includes making land and resources available to Community based projects , and subsidies for existing and emerging wildlife businesses.

We rely on government to advocate for evidence-based conservation policies.

2. International Cooperation:

Strengthening cooperation with international bodies and governments is crucial for regulating wildlife trade while promoting sustainable utilization.

We need initiatives aimed at facilitating legal and sustainable trade rather than restricting trade.

3. Awareness and Marketing

Promoting the positive contributions of wildlife use to conservation, economic development, and community empowerment is vital.

Collaborative marketing efforts at international, regional, and local levels can enhance the visibility of South Africa’s wildlife products and services.

In Conclusion

The energy observed at the Biodiversity Indaba underscores our collective commitment to wildlife conservation and sustainable use.

By addressing constraints and implementing solutions outlined in this report, we can further enhance South Africa’s reputation as a global leader in wildlife management.

We are happy to see many of our prior recommendations in the presentations at this event, and will continue to assist and advise where we can.

We extend our gratitude to the organizers and sponsors of this event and look forward to realizing positive outcomes for both people and wildlife.