Human-wildlife conflict not government responsibility alone: Mbumba

Vice President Nangolo Mbumba said human-wildlife conflict (HWC) should not be the responsibility of the government and the line ministry alone but that of everyone.

Mbumba at the commencement of a three-day National Conference on Human-Wildlife Conflict Management here Wednesday said human-wildlife conflict is complex and thus requires multidimensional solutions.

“The impact of this conflict on people and their property is a difficult challenge that conservation agencies and institutions such as the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism are facing,” he said.

He noted that innovative approaches are being considered to reduce the level of HWC to ensure that the benefits of conservation far outweigh the cost and to build on the significant successes already achieved.

Mbumba also noted that conservancies are now benefiting 245 000 people in various regions.

He thus called upon the national conference to review and discuss progress, challenges, and opportunities in the implementation of this policy so that they may have specific resolutions and actions to implement specific preventative, protective, and mitigative strategies for HWC management.

On his part Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta said policies have been and are developed to address specific environmental and wildlife management issues, rural development, tourism development and poverty reduction.

One such policy is the National Policy on Human-Wildlife Conflict Management that was approved by Cabinet and put in place in 2009 and revised in 2018.

He emphasised that the scale and urgency of the problem require the government to develop an integrated, flexible and comprehensive policy towards dealing with HWC and that can provide a framework for all stakeholders and can meet the country’s national and international commitments to biodiversity conservation while taking into account the rights and development needs of the people.

Shifeta stressed that more needs to be done in the implementation of this policy, and in putting mitigation and preventative measure to manage human-wildlife conflict.

The conference aims at reducing and managing human-wildlife conflicts in the country.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency