Hosmer’s speech at the 2011 African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) held in Swaziland.

Good morning everyone. My name is Joseph Hosmer. Over the past year, you will have noticed some changes to Safari Club International Foundation, we have improved our focus to make the Foundation an institution devoted exclusively on our core missions of science based wildlife research, improving wildlife conservation education, and increasing on the ground efforts for our humanitarian work. I am quite humbled to continue serving as the President of the Safari Club International Foundation.

First, I would like to thank everyone for joining us for the 10th African Wildlife Consultative Forum. This year we have representatives from the countries of Botswana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe; seven NGOs and scientific bodies; and representatives from seven professional hunter associations. The AWCF has grown significantly in 10 years, and we are looking forward to investing in this meeting for the next 10. We hope that throughout the coming year, you are able to discuss the importance of the AWCF with your colleagues who could not join us this year. By increasing participation annually, we can increase the effectiveness of our work improving wildlife conservation and management. However our work must continue if we are to build on our past successes.

Africa continues to face great challenges in wildlife conservation. Human population growth and consequent loss of wildlife habitats will be a continual problem – globally – but especially in Africa. This is because Africa still has much undeveloped space and unexploited natural resources that will be of greater and greater value to both wildlife and humans. More urgently, the world is begging for a solution to put an end to rhinoceros poaching and illicit trade of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. In the past year we have seen dramatic increases in anti-poaching and enforcement efforts, but the problems remain. Perhaps today we will have some creative ideas shared to help us find solutions to the problem.

I want to discuss with you today, and also throughout this week, how SCIF can become a resource for you, so that together, we can improve wildlife conservation in your countries and improve relations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Over the past 10 years that we have gathered for AWCF, you have had the opportunity to work with our incredible staff; Matthew Eckert who manages SCIF’s conservation programs, our staff from the South Africa Office and George Pangeti who has always been such an asset. What many of you do not realize is that we have a larger staff working in Washington, DC; well positioned to meet with representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or with members of embassy staff. It is my hope that at the conclusion of the 10th AWCF, we can collectively agree on principles of conservation that need to be improved with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others in Washington. Safari Club’s staff is ready to do more for conservation than we ever have in the past. We want to act not only as a partner, but more importantly, as your voice when we discuss conservation concerns with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By agreeing upon a core set of conservation principles at this meeting, Safari Club will be more proactive to improve wildlife conservation both at home and in Africa.

We must continue to witness tangible improvements – across the continent – in wildlife management and the professional capacity of many of the people sitting in this room. We need to encourage our colleagues to attend AWCF next year. We need to inform more of our conservation partners, government officials and the general public about the incredible work that needs to be done to ensure wildlife conservation continues for future generations. I hope the cooperative spirit that lives in this Forum continues throughout this week and many years into the future.

Thank you all.

SCI Foundation Closes in on One Million Dollar Investment in Lion Conservation and Research

Washington, DC – Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) has announced that it is close to hitting an unprecedented milestone by contributing nearly $1,000,000 to African lion projects for conservation and research.

“SCI Foundation has continually been a leader in lion conservation in collaboration with the African lion range states,” said SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer. “Our specific research efforts have provided the best available information on the status of lions, which hopefully will be used by the range states to ensure well managed populations.”

This new information comes at a crucial time when the international conservation community is conducting a review on lions. This review will determine whether lions are appropriately listed in the CITES Appendices. Currently, they are listed as Appendix II, which poses restrictions on international trade in the species.

Annually, SCI Foundation underwrites the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF), a meeting where government officials from various African countries convene and discuss leading wildlife conservation issues and wildlife policy and management. The AWCF promotes the practice of sustainable use, including hunting. Therefore, Professional Hunting Associations and other NGOs are represented at this meeting to share their expertise and concerns with regard to wildlife conservation and hunting regulations.

“Throughout the decade long effort to improve the AWCF, lion conservation has been a continual theme that SCI Foundation hopes will result in ever improving management for such an iconic species,” concluded Hosmer.

# # #

The SCI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services, including such programs as Sportsmen Against Hunger, Sensory Safari, Safari Care, Disabled Hunter, the American Wilderness Leadership School, Becoming an Outdoors Woman & More and Youth Education Seminars (YES) Outdoors. Call 877-877-3265 or visit www.sci-foundation.org for more information.

Contact:
Nelson Freeman
(202) 543-8733
media@safariclub.org

Conservation, Education and Entertainment the Focus at EPIC!

 

News For Immediate Release: September 15, 2011

Contact: Jodi Stemler, 703-915-1386 or jodi@stemlerconsulting.com or

 Nelson Freeman, Media@safariclub.org

 

Tucson, Arizona – While fun in the great outdoors will be a centerpiece of the EPIC Outdoor Game Fair, the event will shine a spotlight on the conservation and education leadership of hosts Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) and Quail Unlimited (QU) and their conservation partners. The event will feature displays of conservation organizations including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, as well as SCIF’s Sensory Safari, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’two-hour Hunter Education review course. In addition there will be numerous seminars, shooting demonstrations and appearances by authorities from across the outdoor industry. The EPIC Outdoor Game Fair will run September 23-25, 2011 at Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club in Douglasville, Georgia.

“With so many great hands-on activities at the EPIC Outdoor Game Fair, participants will have so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning,” said Joe Hosmer, President of SCIF. “Without sharing a conservation ethic and educating people about fish, wildlife and the natural world, we can’t expect to foster a love for the outdoors or our sporting traditions. That’s the real goal of this event.”

Conservation and education are a key part of the EPIC Outdoor Game Fair because proceeds from the event support Safari Club International Foundation’s (SCIF) efforts to promote science–based conservation through wildlife research, capacity building in governments, youth and teacher education, and humanitarian programs that show the importance of hunting in society. Since 2000, SCIF has provided $47 million to these efforts and recent expenditures have exceeded $5 million annually. SCIF works very closely with many other conservation organizations and many of these partners will also be hosting displays in The Conservation Pavilion at Game Fair.

Educational seminars will go on throughout the weekend in every one of the activity villages. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be offering a two-hour Hunter Education  course on Sunday, September 25 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. This 2-hour review course is for hunter education students that have successfully completed either the CD-ROM course or any of the three online courses.  Scott Linden will present his popular Bird Hunting Boot Camp, Bill Oyster will be teaching participants how to construct their own custom bamboo fly rod, C.J. Buck of Buck Knives will provide information about knives and their care, and G.O. and Haley Heath ofFamily Traditions will offer insights on our outdoor traditions. In addition, the Georgia DNR will offer seminars on backyard birding and the snakes of Georgia. EarthQuest’s Birds of Prey village will have regular seminars on falconry and raptors. The Equestrian Village will be constantly busy with demonstrations of various riding disciplines and clinics by top instructors including renowned hunter and equitation trainer, Anna Mullin, and competitors such as Jessie Kuka, world record holder in cowboy mounted shooting.

At the shooting village, there will be instruction by National Sporting Clays Association instructors as well as demonstrations from some of the best shooters in the country. Mossberg’s Red White & Proud Tour featuring Xtreme Sport Shooter Patrick Flanigan will provide fast-paced shooting excitement. Also shooting each day will be Benelli’s Scott Matthews, an amazing freestyle shooter known as “The Sure Shot.”

There will be so much to do and see at the EPIC Outdoor Game Fair that the entire family will be kept busy and learning all weekend long. Time is running out to buy your discounted tickets that are only available online. Go to the EPIC Outdoor Game Fair website(www.epicgamefair.org) to buy them today. As a thank you to our troops serving our nation, active military personnel will receive the same online discount onsite when they present their identification.

Get regular updates on the event blog, EPICGameFairBlog.org, Facebook, Facebook.com/EPICOutdoorGameFair and Twitter,Twitter.com/EPICGameFair.

###

Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services. Since 2000, SCIF has provided $47 million to these causes around the world. Visit www.safariclubfoundation.org for more information.

Quail Unlimited® is the oldest national, nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the management of America’s wild quail. Known as “America’s Leader In Quail Conservation SM,” QU’s overall vision is to restore America’s quail populations for future generations. The organization’s core values include the wise stewardship of our land and its resources, and the continuation of our proud heritage of conservation, therefore, leaving a legacy and firm foundation for our youth and families to build upon.

Importance of Hunting: Safari Club International Foundation Testifies to US Congress

Original Post available here.

TESTIMONY OF THE SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION

Joseph Hosmer

President, Safari Club International Foundation

Subcommittee for Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs;

House Natural Resources Committee

Re: HR 50 – Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011

July 28, 2011

Good morning, my name is Joe Hosmer, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the hunter-conservation community today.

The Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that funds and manages programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services. Since 2000, SCIF has provided in excess of $50 million in support to these causes around the world. SCIF has worked tirelessly to increase wildlife management capability throughout Southern and Eastern Africa through strategic partnerships with African nations and conservation NGOs.

Currently, SCIF participates on the steering committee of the Multinational Species Conservation Fund Coalition and SCIF has participated as a member of the Multinational Species Coalition for well over 10 years. In our current role on the coalition, we assist in providing grassroots support for the species conservation funds.

Safari Club International Foundation believes that the United States plays a pivotal role in international conservation. We further believe that the United States’ continued support for international conservation projects is necessary, both for the continued growth of wildlife populations, and for the stability of rural economies throughout many nations of Africa. For these reasons the Safari Club International Foundation strongly supports HR 50, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011.

As an organization, SCIF is highly committed to wildlife conservation throughout the world, but we have a particular affection and interest for African wildlife species. I would like to offer the hunting community’s perspective on the importance of investing in conservation funding internationally. There is a tremendous return on investment that rural economies realize through effective sustainable use practices for wildlife management.

SCIF’s Conservation Committee dedicates over a million dollars annually to global wildlife conservation, with a specific focus on conserving African species. SCIF’s leadership in Africa has led to the development of the African Wildlife Consultative Forum, which brings together African wildlife officials, representatives of the African professional hunter associations, international NGO’s and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services staff. At these meetings we have increased collaboration for sustainable use conservation programs, and we have improved relations to increase rural economic development around sustainable hunting.

Other speakers today will touch on the incredible impact that the conservation funds have made for wildlife populations. I would like to speak specifically about the impact on rural economies that sustainable use and conservation of these species can have.

The role of sport hunting today in many developing countries is vital to the very survival of communities. Using southern Africa as an example, sport hunting has been one of the main economic engines in rural communities. In many countries of southern Africa, agrarian or pastoral economies cannot flourish, due to limited land suitable for agriculture or grazing. In these areas, regulated sport hunting has been a consistent form of revenue for local communities. To take better advantage of sustainable wildlife use, many governments have begun Community Based Natural Resources Programs. These programs, in essence, devolve power from the central government so that locally created community councils can regulate and manage wildlife in their areas. Their mission is to utilize wildlife so that it remains a sustainable resource for their community.

Successful community based programs have been developed across Africa including, but not limited to, Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources, otherwise known as CAMPFIRE, in Zimbabwe; Living In a Finite Environment, known as LIFE in Namibia; and other programs in Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania.

These programs create an incentive for rural communities to actively conserve wildlife. Revenue retention schemes ensure that money generated from sport hunting ends up in the hands of indigenous people. In the case of sport hunting in southern Africa, communities in the most rural portions of countries reap the benefit of conserving wildlife through Community Based Natural Resource Programs.

Here are some facts and figures on the positive economic impact that sport hunting has in Africa.

1. International hunting by 18,500 hunters generates $200 million USD annually in remote rural areas of Africa in 23 countries. Private hunting operations conserve wildlife on 540,000 square miles, which is 22% more land mass than is found in all the national parks of Africa. (Lindsey, Conservation Biology, 2007)

2. “Hunting is of key importance to conservation in Africa by creating [financial] incentives to promote and retain wildlife as a land use over vast areas…” (National Geographic News, March, 2007)

3. In Namibia, 29 conservancies involve almost 150,000 rural individuals through trophy hunting, conservancy management or secondary industries. (Weaver, C.L. & Skyer, P. 2003.)

4. The Zambian Wildlife Authority works with safari operators to ensure that as part of their contract they must develop and manage roads, employ Zambian Professional Hunters or Apprentice Hunters, ensure that a minimum of 80% of labor comes from neighboring

communities, develop local infrastructure, notably schools, clinic and wells, and employ Zambian game scouts to manage wildlife and poaching. (Kampamba, G. 2005.)

5. International hunting employs approximately 3,700 people annually in Tanzania. (www.tanzania.go.tz/) and supports over 88,000 families (Hurt & Ravn 2000)

Particularly in Africa, creating an incentive to coexist with wildlife has been a central reason why so many populations of species are now thriving. Elephants, rhinos and lions are the best examples of this dynamic at work. Of the 23 southern African nations that have regulated hunting, an overall trend of positive species population growth has been reported. The growing population of white rhino has been one of the most notable success stories. Unsurprisingly, in countries like Kenya, where wildlife utilization by indigenous people is extremely limited and where hunting does not exist, wildlife population levels are now low and in continuous decline. Trophy hunting in Kenya was banned in 1977 and this ban has resulted in an accelerated loss of wildlife due to the removal of incentives for conservation (Baker 1997; Lewis & Jackson 2005).

As an organization, SCIF has not directly utilized the funds made available through the authorizing legislation. However, organizations that SCIF has partnered with in providing matching grants have been recipients of funding from the FWS.

The investments that the U.S. government has made through the multination species conservation funds are necessary. They provide stability and continuity for ongoing wildlife conservation investments from other organizations, and from the hunters who travel to Africa. The MSCF certainly provides significant and measurable successes for a very small investment of federal dollars.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak before the subcommittee today.

The above testimony, from a July 28th hearing held by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, can be downloaded in full here. The Safari Club International Foundation’s press release on the hearing, released July 28th, can be downloadedhere. The Safari Club International Foundation is an ICCF Advisory Council member.

TESTIMONY OF THE SCI FOUNDATION

Joseph Hosmer President, Safari Club International Foundation Subcommittee for Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs; House Natural Resources Committee Re: HR 50 – Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011 July 28, 2011
Good morning, my name is Joe Hosmer, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the hunter-conservation community today.
The Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that funds and manages programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services. Since 2000, SCIF has provided in excess of $50 million in support to these causes around the world. SCIF has worked tirelessly to increase wildlife management capability throughout Southern and Eastern Africa through strategic partnerships with African nations and conservation NGOs.
Currently, SCIF participates on the steering committee of the Multinational Species Conservation Fund Coalition and SCIF has participated as a member of the Multinational Species Coalition for well over 10 years. In our current role on the coalition, we assist in providing grassroots support for the species conservation funds.
Safari Club International Foundation believes that the United States plays a pivotal role in international conservation. We further believe that the United States’ continued support for international conservation projects is necessary, both for the continued growth of wildlife populations, and for the stability of rural economies throughout many nations of Africa. For these reasons the Safari Club International Foundation strongly supports HR 50, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011.
As an organization, SCIF is highly committed to wildlife conservation throughout the world, but we have a particular affection and interest for African wildlife species. I would like to offer the hunting community’s perspective on the importance of investing in conservation funding internationally. There is a tremendous return on investment that rural economies realize through effective sustainable use practices for wildlife management.
SCIF’s Conservation Committee dedicates over a million dollars annually to global wildlife conservation, with a specific focus on conserving African species. SCIF’s leadership in Africa has led to the development of the African Wildlife Consultative Forum, which brings together African wildlife officials, representatives of the African professional hunter associations, international NGO’s and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services staff. At these meetings we have increased collaboration for sustainable use conservation programs, and we have improved relations to increase rural economic development around sustainable hunting.
Other speakers today will touch on the incredible impact that the conservation funds have made for wildlife populations. I would like to speak specifically about the impact on rural economies that sustainable use and conservation of these species can have.
The role of sport hunting today in many developing countries is vital to the very survival of communities. Using southern Africa as an example, sport hunting has been one of the main economic engines in rural communities. In many countries of southern Africa, agrarian or pastoral economies cannot flourish, due to limited land suitable for agriculture or grazing. In these areas, regulated sport hunting has been a consistent form of revenue for local communities. To take better advantage of sustainable wildlife use, many governments have begun Community Based Natural Resources Programs. These programs, in essence, devolve power from the central government so that locally created community councils can regulate and manage wildlife in their areas. Their mission is to utilize wildlife so that it remains a sustainable resource for their community.
Successful community based programs have been developed across Africa including, but not limited to, Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources, otherwise known as CAMPFIRE, in Zimbabwe; Living In a Finite Environment, known as LIFE in Namibia; and other programs in Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania.
These communal programs have been successful because they effectively create a financial incentive for the rural communities to actively conserve wildlife. Revenue retention schemes ensure that money generated from sport hunting ends up in the hands of indigenous people. In the case of sport hunting in southern Africa, communities in the most rural portions of countries reap the benefit of conserving wildlife through Community Based Natural Resource Programs.
Here are some facts and figures on the positive economic impact that sport hunting has in Africa.
1. International hunting by 18,500 hunters generates $200 million USD annually in remote rural areas of Africa in 23 countries. Private hunting operations conserve wildlife on 540,000 square miles, which is 22% more land mass than is found in all the national parks of Africa. (Lindsey, Conservation Biology, 2007)
2. “Hunting is of key importance to conservation in Africa by creating [financial] incentives to promote and retain wildlife as a land use over vast areas…” (National Geographic News, March, 2007)
3. In Namibia, 29 conservancies involve almost 150,000 rural individuals through trophy hunting, conservancy management or secondary industries. (Weaver, C.L. & Skyer, P. 2003.)
4. The Zambian Wildlife Authority works with safari operators to ensure that as part of their contract they must develop and manage roads, employ Zambian Professional Hunters or Apprentice Hunters, ensure that a minimum of 80% of labor comes from neighboring
communities, develop local infrastructure, notably schools, clinic and wells, and employ Zambian game scouts to manage wildlife and poaching. (Kampamba, G. 2005.)
5. International hunting employs approximately 3,700 people annually in Tanzania. (www.tanzania.go.tz/) and supports over 88,000 families (Hurt & Ravn 2000)
Particularly in Africa, creating an incentive to coexist with wildlife has been a central reason why so many populations of species are now thriving. Elephants, rhinos and lions are the best examples of this dynamic at work. Of the 23 southern African nations that have regulated hunting, an overall trend of positive species population growth has been reported. The growing population of white rhino has been one of the most notable success stories. Unsurprisingly, in countries like Kenya, where wildlife utilization by indigenous people is extremely limited and where hunting does not exist, wildlife population levels are now low and in continuous decline. Trophy hunting in Kenya was banned in 1977 and this ban has resulted in an accelerated loss of wildlife due to the removal of incentives for conservation (Baker 1997; Lewis & Jackson 2005).
As an organization, SCIF has not directly utilized the funds made available through the authorizing legislation. However, organizations that SCIF has partnered with in providing matching grants have been recipients of funding from the FWS.
The investments that the U.S. government has made through the multination species conservation funds are necessary. They provide stability and continuity for ongoing wildlife conservation investments from other organizations, and from the hunters who travel to Africa. The MSCF certainly provides significant and measurable successes for a very small investment of federal dollars.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak before the subcommittee today.

Safari Club International Foundation Testifies In Support Of International Wildlife Conservation Funding

For Immediate Release: July 28th, 2011

 

Washington, DC –Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) testified today in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee in support of H.R. 50, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011 which would extend funding for important conservation projects until the year 2016.

 

“It was an honor to testify before the committee today, and I hope that our message was clear: that these projects are a needed investment for sustainable wildlife conservation,” said Joseph Hosmer, President of SCIF. “Support for international conservation projects is necessary for the continued growth of wildlife populations and stability of rural economies throughout many nations of Africa and Asia.”

 

As a result of the funding from the U.S. Congress, many grants, matching contributions, and in-kind funds have been donated to these programs from other organizations, host countries, and conservation groups. For example, as a result of the 2009 Congressional appropriation of $2 million for the African Elephant Conservation Fund, over $11.2 million in matching funds were received from outside sources and went to fund 33 African elephant projects.

 

Contact: Nelson Freeman, Media@safariclub.org

About SCIF

Safari Club International Foundation is an international non-profit 501(c)(3). SCIF’s mission is to support and promote hunting as a major benefit for wildlife conservation and the sustainable use of wildlife and to fund and manage worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services. Learn more at: www.safariclubfoundation.org.

 

Becoming an SCI Member

Joining Safari Club International is the best way to be an advocate for continuing our hunting heritage and supporting worldwide sustainable use conservation, wildlife education and humanitarian services. JOIN NOW:  www.safariclub.org/Join.