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A third of the global elephant population is located in Botswana
Botswana, which is a home for a third of the global elephant population, bans commercial hunting over growing concerns about the sharp decline in wildlife species. The announcement has been welcomed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
"The shooting of wild game for sport and trophies is no longer compatible with our commitment to preserve local fauna," the environment ministry said.
The ban may be met with opposition as many communities depend on hunting for their livelihoods. Others who could go against the ban are bodies that make a forture by selling hunting licences to wealthy Westerners.
According to the environment ministry's official statement, the government will continue to issue special game licences "for traditional hunting by some local communities within designated wildlife management areas".
Designated hunting zones are set to be turned into "photographic areas".
"The ideal scenario would be that it has a similar effect to the ban on whaling 20 years ago," the organisation's spokesman, Adrian Hiel, told the BBC.
"Whale watching is now proven to be more sustainable and profitable than hunting and killing the animals."