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6 July 2023 Botswana Communities' Adaptive Capacity to the Lifting of a Trophy Hunting Ban
Katherine Coe, Jennifer M. Thomsen, Joseph Mbaiwa
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In southern Africa, local communities are integral to the success of conservation, especially outside of protected areas. Trophy hunting tourism has been considered a strategy which can generate economic benefits and influence conservation at local scales in sub-Saharan African countries, like Botswana. In 2019, Botswana lifted a five-year hunting ban and reintroduced trophy hunting tourism, catalysing a range of responses at local and international scales. To gain a more in-depth understanding of how changes in trophy hunting policy have shaped local adaptive capacity, we conducted 54 semi-structured interviews with three communities where trophy hunting tourism occurred: Mababe, Sankuyo, and Chobe Enclave. Communities had diverse responses to the lifting of the ban, illuminating the dynamic relationship between communities, conservation, and trophy hunting tourism and the overall resilience of the trophy hunting system. The findings suggest that the lifting of the hunting ban can serve as a catalyst for transformation and increased resilience, if there is strong communication across levels of government which cultivates inclusive decision-making and economic diversification to reduce dependency on trophy hunting tourism. Based on the study's findings, we present potential paths for the future of trophy hunting, which can inform policy and decision-making to support the adaptive capacity and resiliency of northern Botswana's communities and other regions where trophy hunting tourism occurs.

Katherine Coe, Jennifer M. Thomsen, and Joseph Mbaiwa "Botswana Communities' Adaptive Capacity to the Lifting of a Trophy Hunting Ban," African Journal of Wildlife Research 53(1), (6 July 2023).
Received: 1 December 2021; Accepted: 9 June 2023; Published: 6 July 2023
adaptive capacity
Chobe Enclave
trophy hunting tourism
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