25 Apr 2016 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 25 APR (NAMPA) The 2009 National Policy on Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) will be under discussion in the National Assembly this year, partially because there is no clear policy on resolving HWC.
Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Tommy Nambahu made the pledge during the 2016 Conservancy Chairperson Forum here on Monday.
This year, we will be reviewing the policy and the process has started. I call upon all of you to interrogate the current strategies on human wildlife conflict management during the consultation process, and propose practical and focused approaches to mitigate and prevent this conflict, he noted.
Cabinet in 2009 approved the policy that provides a framework for addressing the problem of HWC effectively and to promote the conservation of biodiversity. At present, there is no clear policy on resolving human-wildlife conflict and although Government coordinates its protection, it cannot be held responsible for damage caused by wildlife.
Two key strategies seek to mitigate the costs of living with wildlife prevention (practical steps for keeping wildlife away from crops and livestock); and the Human Wildlife Self Reliance Scheme, which involves payments to those who suffered losses. This scheme makes payments under strict conditions; incidents must be reported within 24 hours and verified by MET or a game guard from the conservancy. Compensation for HWC differs from conservancy to conservancy, depending on profit generated and the number of members.
The Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Support Organisations (NACSO), in its 2014/2015 annual report, indicated that 7 774 HWC cases were reported during 2014 compared to 9 228 cases in 2013.
HWC is seen as one of the major challenges facing communities in conservancies. Losses caused by wildlife can undoubtedly be severe. Nonetheless, perceptions of the scale of the problem are often skewed. Data evaluation has shown that in the majority of surveyed conservancies, the returns generated from wildlife far outweigh the losses incurred through it, the report noted.
There are 82 registered communal conservancies and one community conservation association, the Kyaramacan Association in the Bwabwata National Park.
During 2014, conservancies generated about N.dollars 91.2 million from hunting activities and created about 5 808 jobs in Namibia.
The conservancy chairperson forum ends on Tuesday.