Source: Human-animal conflict worsens | The Herald November 8, 2016
From Sydney Kawadza in VICTORIA FALLS
Member states to the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area are meeting here for a symposium to review the 10-year-old Memorandum of Understanding amid concern of the need to work on growing human-animal conflict. The KAZA TFCA is the largest conservation landscape in Africa and the world’s largest trans-frontier conservation initiative signed by Sadc countries — Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The KAZA TFCA covers the Okavango and Zambezi River basin.
Addressing delegates attending the symposium, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said, many rural communities in Africa face hardships from wildlife.
“In many areas within Southern Africa, and in Zimbabwe in particular, wildlife kills human beings and livestock every year leading to serious conflicts with local communities.
“In Zimbabwe, from January 2016 to date, a total of 19 people were killed and 13 others were injured by wildlife. In addition, 18 cattle, 11 donkeys and 105 goats were killed by predators.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said trans-frontier conservations are a living laboratory in which human-wildlife conflict is being converted into an opportunity to create assets and capital to generate business and facilitate benefit-sharing.
“The role of rural communities in the KAZA TFCA programme is a key factor in the management of natural resources, especially considering the vast base of natural assets and rich cultural resources that local communities preside over and present in their areas.
“Our wildlife heritage must always play a fundamental role in overall development of our communities and poverty alleviation. The survival of our wildlife resources will obviously depend on their relationship with the people and our desire is to see wildlife conservation paying for itself is a sustainable manner,” she said.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri urged participants to come up with ways of helping communities affected by human-animal conflict.
She said the symposium was a chance for participants to address the limited opportunities around socio-economic development and livelihood strategies to promote growth of rural economies.