Human Wildlife Conflict in Namibia

An African elephant family roaming through high grass. rel=
An African elephant family roaming through high grass.
© WWF / Folke WULF

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Jones, B.T.B., Elliott, W. J.

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.
  • Cumming, D. and B. Jones. 2005. Elephants in southern Africa: Management issues and options. WWF - SARPO Occasional Paper Number 11. WWF Southern Africa Regional Programme Office. Harare.
  • Distefano, E. Undated. Human-Wildlife Conflict worldwide: collection of case studies, analysis of management strategies and good practices. FAO. Rome.
  • Hart, L. A. and Caitlin E. O'Connell. Undated. Human Conflict with African and Asian Elephants and Associated Conservation Dilemmas. University of California, Davis.
  • Jones, B.T.B. and Barnes, J.I. 2006. Human Wildlife Conflict in Namibia. WWF Global Species Programme and WWF Macroeconomics Programme Office.
  • NACSO. 2006 (in prep). Namibia’s communal conservancies: A review of progress and challenges. Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations. Windhoek.
  • O’Connell. C. (1995) Final Technical Report: East/West Caprivi Natural Resource Monitoring Project: Elephant/human conflicts. Ministry of Environment and Tourism/USAID/WWF. Windhoek.
  • O’Connell-Rodwell, C.E., Rodwell, T., Rice, M. & Hart, L.A. 2000. Living with the modern conservation paradigm: can agricultural communities co-exist with elephants? A five year case study in East Caprivi, Namibia. Biological Conservation 93: 381-391.
  • Stander, P. 2005. Situation Analysis of Human Wildlife Conflict in Namibia. Ministry of Environment and Tourism Integrated Community-based Ecosystem Management (ICEMA) Project. Windoek.

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