The Operators and Professional Hunting Associations of Africa (OPHAA)
The Operators and Professional Hunting Associations of Africa (OPHAA) is a non-profit umbrella organization founded on associate rather than individual membership, a fundamental difference from the International Professional Hunters Association and the African Professional Hunters Association.
There are nine participating countries; Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The states of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, and Gabon have been encouraged to form country associations and join the organization.
OPHAA represents bona fide African hunting associations whose members adhere to a strict code of conduct and whose principals center around legal and ethical fair-chase sustainable-use conservation hunting. Investment in best conservation practices, community development, and anti-poaching is encouraged.
The organization strives to achieve these objectives through communication, unity, and cooperation between member associations.
This interconnectivity allows for the reciprocal sharing of problems and solutions in government, NGOs, anti-poaching, rural community development, marketing, and external threats from the worldwide animal rights movements. While OPHAA recognizes the sovereign rights of the member countries rules and regulations, it actively promotes the highest codes of conduct and ethics without compromise.
As a transnational and proudly African organization, OPHAA supports fair, transparent, and legitimate income streams derived from sustainable and ethical hunting. In turn, this can contribute to the conservation of both habitat and the upliftment of local communities.
The association has its AGM at the Safari Club International Foundation's annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF), held each year in a different African country. AWCF has been SCI Foundation's signature program in Africa since 2001. AWCF is an annual capacity-building venue for communications on common approaches to conservation challenges and creating a continent-wide strategy for wildlife management.
The AWCF brings together senior government officials, professional hunting association leadership, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, international policy experts and wildlife biologists to tackle Africa's most pressing sustainable-use issues. AWCF continues to be SCIF's flagship activity in Africa and one of the most valuable events for the safari hunting community.
OPHAA's strategic plan can be summarized in five key points:
1. To engage Western Governments on wildlife policy and trade and counter damaging legislation.
2. Form alliances with like-minded conservation groups, national institutions, and NGOs.
3. Promote wildlife utilization as a first-choice land use in marginal agricultural areas, providing significant rural economic development.
4. To dispel the untruths propagated by the anti-sustainable use movements and to expose to the public at large the realities of human-wildlife conflict across the continent
5. Endorse the New Deal for Rural Africans policy paper through a revitalized wildlife economy.
For further information about OPHAA, please get in touch with Danene van der Westhuyzen at firstname.lastname@example.org.