WINDHOEK, June 7 — Namibia on Monday launched the Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC)-Wildlife Crime (WC) Project aimed to incentivize wildlife conservation through proactive management of HWC and WC, while concurrently delivering wildlife-based benefits to rural communities in targeted hotspot landscapes.
HWC and WC are affecting the environment, economy and community livelihoods, Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta said at the launch event in Windhoek.
Shifeta said the project will look at the management, prevention, and mitigation of HWC; combat crime and protect wildlife populations and build a wildlife-based economy to promote co-existence between wildlife and people as well as knowledge management, stakeholder coordination and monitoring and evaluation.
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.
According to Shifeta, 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.
As a counteract, humans, resort to killing the wild animals, Shifeta said, adding that this situation not only exacerbates the loss of biodiversity but also negatively affects the economy as some of the vulnerable species that are often killed are highly valuable and contribute significantly to tourism in the country. (Xinhua)
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