Namibia launches project to tackle human-wildlife conflict, wildlife crime

Namibia on Monday commissioned the Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC)-Wildlife Crime (WC) Project aimed at incentivising wildlife conservation through proactive management of the conflict and crime.

The HWC and WC are also currently delivering wildlife-based benefits to rural communities in targeted hotspot landscapes.

Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta at the launch event in Windhoek said HWC and WC are affecting the environment, economy, and community livelihoods.

Shifeta said the project would look at the management, prevention, and mitigation of HWC.

According to him, the HWC would combat crime, protect wildlife populations and build a wildlife-based economy to promote co-existence between wildlife.

He said the project would also promote relationships between people as well as knowledge management, stakeholder coordination, and monitoring and evaluation.

According to the minister, the project will run for six years from 2022 to 2027 with a total budget of 6.2 million U.S. dollars co-financed by the Global Environmental Facility.

Shifeta said Namibia is dealing with a twin challenge as both HWC and WC issues pose a huge challenge to deal with, particularly due to limited financial, technical, and human resources needed to successfully manage these conflicts, amid increasing records of incidences.

“Hardly a day passes by without receiving a report on HWC. This is mostly a result of human encroachment on wildlife corridors or habitats, which exposes livestock, human lives, and property to predation, losses, and damage,” he said.

He stated that as frustration sets in, humans resort to killing wild animals.

He said the situation did not only exacerbate the loss of biodiversity but also affected the economy negatively.

The minister said some of the vulnerable species often killed were highly valuable and contributed significantly to tourism in the country.


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