Botswana, Conflict, Diamonds, and Elephants

What do diamonds and the vulnerable African elephant have in common? A lot more than you realize.

Botswana produces a lot of the diamonds sold on the marketplace. Virtually all the diamond output from this country is a joint partnership between the government of Botswana and a certain major diamond cartel you may remember, who cleverly rebranded themselves from being the original perpetrator of conflict diamonds to the “squeaky-clean crusader” ridding the world of the human rights disaster they helped create.

So how does this relate to elephants? This week, the same government that is a joint partner in Botswana diamonds announced they are lifting the ban on hunting the country’s African elephant population.

They call this license to kill, “wildlife conservation.” In our current mixed up world of doublespeak, this does not surprise us in the least. The Botswana Wildlife Producers Association supports the governments call to resume killing elephants, stating “communities’ rights and livelihoods are as important as the species itself.” At Leber Jeweler, we feel nothing justifies killing for trophy sport and no community’s rights override an entire species right to exist in their natural environment.

Just last year, Botswana was the location of what conservationists described as “one of the biggest slaughters in recent years” when the corpses of close to one hundred elephants, young and old, male and female, were found butchered. (The government of Botswana, needless to say, denies this as fake news.) No doubt, with the resumption of hunting, many more herds and families of elephants will be broken apart or destroyed senselessly.