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Botswana mulls plan to reduce human-wildlife conflict


Botswana is seeking long-term solutions to reduce human-wildlife conflict and create win-win results for both people and animals, said a senior government official Thursday.

During a meeting in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, to discuss the 2023 National Human-Wildlife Conflict Consultation and its implementation, Grace Muzila, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, said that some measures to manage human-wildlife conflict, such as the compensations scheme, remain costly and unsustainable.

"The government spends a lot of money on a compensation scheme for damages of property by problem animals. An amount of 148 million pula (about $10.8 million) was disbursed as compensation by the government to affected farmers from 2018 to 2023," she said.

She noted that the meeting provides an opportunity for stakeholder input to inform decision-making, which is critical for a long-term solution that considers reducing human-wildlife conflict and promoting coexistence.

Scenery of Botswana. /CFP
Scenery of Botswana. /CFP

Scenery of Botswana. /CFP

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has collaborated with the University of Botswana (UB) to create a national, long-term strategic and action plan for human-wildlife management in Botswana, which is expected to take 15 months. The UB is expected to create a strategy for promoting human-wildlife coexistence, she said.

According to Muzila, 46,140 problem animal incidents had been reported throughout all districts between 2018 and 2023, with 69 humans killed and 57 more injured as a result of contact with wild animals. Botswana's problem animals include elephants, lions, and leopards. Elephants are responsible for the vast majority of animal occurrences.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
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