elephants.jpgThe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has launched a human and wildlife conflict management programme to improve the co-existence and interaction between humans and wildlife.

The move comes after stakeholders realized that human and wildlife conflicts have become more frequent during the past few years as a result of human population growth, extension of transport routes and expansion of agricultural activities.

 

Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister Cde Francis Nhema said it is important for communities which reside near conservation areas to learn to co-exist with wildlife adding that this has benefits such as wildlife based tourism which will lead to development.

 

“We have to change our ways and attitudes towards the wildlife that surround us, we understand that more than 30 people die every year after being attacked by animals but we should not overlook the fact that due to population growth we have moved into wildlife territories and so we should learn to co-exist with wildlife which is our neighbor,” said Minister  Nhema.

 

Food Agriculture Organisation country representative, Dr Gaoju Han called for the effective implementation of the human and wildlife management conflict programme saying stakeholders should work together in ensuring that the affected communities get a clear understanding of the importance of the programme.

“We have been working together with the national parks and wildlife and we are encouraging them to take a collaborative and participative approach in educating the communities on the benefits of living in harmony with nature,” said Dr. Han.

 

The human and wildlife conflict management programme will run from June 2010 to December 2011 in Chiredzi, Hwange and Mbire Districts.

 

Scores of people die every year after being attacked by wild animals while some communities indiscriminately hunt and kill wild animals, an issue that the programme is expected to address.