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Human Wildlife Conflict in Namibia
Experiences from a portfolio of practical solutions
Taken from WWF study “Human Wildlife Conflict in Namibia” by Brian T.B. Jones with economic analysis by Jonathan I. Barnes published in
"Nature & Faune" vol. 21 issue 2," a publication of the FAO Regional Office for Africa.
Unlike many countries, Namibia has increasing herbivorous wildlife populations (including such species as elephant and black rhino,) and increasing or stable populations of large predators (including lions).
Conservationists agree that Namibia's Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Programme has played a major role in these increases. Under CBNRM, communities form local natural resource management institutions called conservancies, and are given rights by the government to manage their land and the wildlife living on it. As a result of the income derived from sustainable use of wildlife and ecotourism in conservancies, rural communities have generally positive attitudes towards wildlife.
However, larger wildlife populations are giving rise to increased Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC), with 3,194 problem incidents by different species reported country-wide in conservancies during 2005. These incidents involve the destruction of crops and artificial water points by herbivores such as elephants, the killing of livestock by predators such as hyena, jackal and leopard, and sometimes, human injury and death.
If community commitment to conservation is to be maintained, it is imperative that communities are able to generate more benefits from maintaining wildlife on their land than they suffer in losses, and the successful prevention and mitigation of HWC is central to achieving this aim.