Namibia seeks innovative ways to address human-wildlife conflict

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Absalom Shigwedha

KHORIXAS – Namibia is currently developing a project proposal for innovative solutions to human wildlife conflict, which will soon be submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for funding consideration.
This was revealed by Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta, when he officially addressed the 25th annual International Day for Biodiversity, held at Khorixas recently.

Shifeta said competition for resources such as water and space for grazing as well as drought are among key drivers of human wildlife conflict. “With climate change we are anticipating that droughts will become more severe and frequent. This will bring wildlife and humans into even closer contact in the future,” said Shifeta.

He said while the proposal for innovative solutions to human wildlife conflict is being developed, his ministry will in the meantime continue to do its utmost best to come up with theoretical and practical solutions to address this challenge. This, he said, included the three-day conference with environmental education institutions under the theme “Innovative Strategies Peaceful Co-existence with Endangered Wildlife,” hosted by the ministry las month.
The minister said last month he also inaugurated three predator proof kraals and an early warning system at Bersig in Kunene Region. He said he was delighted to see that this year’s International Day for Biodiversity was marked with practical ways in which biodiversity can be conserved.

“It is only through learning what biodiversity entails at platform such as this that we will truly understand the importance of its protection both for us and the future generations,” he said.

Shifeta explained that Namibia is one of the few countries, if not the only country in the world, that has its whole coastline protected under national park status, having some 45 percent of its land under different types of conservation and being some to the world’s largest transfrontier conservation area in the form of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

“In terms of protecting marine biodiversity we established a marine protected area in 2009 and most recently we have identified seven ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSAs) in the marine environment which will be earmarked for special protection measures,” he added.

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