Evaluating human elephant conflict mitigation strategies in Makgadikgadi Wetland System.

Evaluating human elephant conflict mitigation strategies in Makgadikgadi Wetland System.

The recent influx in elephant populations and the cascading negative impacts on human livelihoods has compelled the Boteti Rural Development Trust to take action. The Trust, with assistance from BirdLife Botswana, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) hosted a two day (3rd-4th December 2020) human-elephant conflict (HEC) resolution workshop in Rakops village for knowledge sharing and evaluation of the various HEC mitigation strategies. The intention was to select strategies with the highest likelihood of success within the Boteti area. The workshop involved participants from the Okavango Research Institute, Elephants for Africa, Ecoexist, Tlounique Research and Development (elephant deterrent web), government Technical Advisory Committee, GEF/SGP, BLB and BRDT. Discussions were centred on; legal frameworks guiding HEC mitigation in Botswana, the role of local communities in combating HEC, innovative approaches to minimizing HEC (i.e. elephant deterrents techniques), integration of indigenous Knowledge in minimizing HEC, as well as financing and partnerships for HWC interventions. After evaluating the advantages and disadvantages associated with each strategy, it was agreed that the elephant deterrent web and chili pepper methods will be trialed under the current GEF/SGP funded project. It was however apparent that combination of strategies and human presence for monitoring is essential for the success of such efforts.

         

  

 

 

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