Friday, October 31, 2014

Farmers urged to take ownership of human-wildlife co-existence

Rural communities in 13 villages along the Okavango Delta, Chobe–Linyanti and the Makgadikgadi wetlands have been urged to take ownership of a human-wildlife co-existence project through pro-active conflict prevention and skills development.
The calls were made by the project consultants, Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS), during a stakeholder workshop of the Northern Botswana Human Wildlife Coexistence Project (NBHWC) held in Maun.
The project’s activities includes the introduction of chili bush fences, early maturation seed varieties, kraaling and guard dogs to reduce livestock predation as well as beehive fences to prevent damage of crops and livestock killings by elephants and predators respectively.
When delivering her presentation, the Public Relations and Marketing Officer at KCS, Chanana Ntsomeng, said the objectives were to familiarise everyone with the project’s communications strategy and activities and give stakeholders a chance to give feedback on the project. She said another objective is to encourage ownership by Village Project Members.
The Senior Wildlife Biologist in Maun, Mpho Nthomiwa, said the lives of people in the region depended on arable and pastoral farming. “We have challenges of human and wildlife conflict. As growth, they end up encroaching. Reduce conflict; go to co-existence. Challenge for people and wildlife to live in harmony.” He added..
He praised the focal persons in the project for co-operation given to stakeholders, including EcoExist Botswana, who are running parallel research to address human-elephant conflict in ways that may be modeled throughout Botswana. Nthomiwa stated that his department and the two organs have since signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to combat possible clashes with community members. Read more

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