NC Standing Committee on Habitat in consultation with MET, NACSO and WWF
|Story by Immanuel Kooper
After consulting widely in 8 northern regions of the country, the National Council Standing Committee on Habitat concluded their consultation on the Human-Wildlife Conflict motion in the G4 conference room with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism represented by the Permanent Secretary Dr Malan Lindeque and Mr Colgar Sikopo, Director, Namibia Directorate of Parks and Wildlife Management as well as stakeholders such as NACSO (Namibia Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management Support Organization and World Wide Fund (WWF). On the thorny issue of compensation for damages caused by wild animals, a call by almost all communities consulted on the motion, the response from MET is that compensation is not a government policy currently but instead the Human Wildlife Conflict Self Reliance Scheme that was put in place in 2009. Another option being considered is the Human Wildlife Conflict Insurance Scheme that is being investigated for possible implementation, Mr Colgar Sikopo said. In their presentation, the World Wide Fund (WWF) says that Africa's wildlife is one of the most magnificent assets of the natural world with real and largely untapped potential to benefit rural communities, particularly in times of climate change and need for livelihood diversification. But on the other hand one of the greater threats to the wildlife comes from human wildlife conflict, i.e. loss of cattle from lions, cheetahs, etc.; damaged crops and infrastructure from elephants; and loss of human life or injury from elephants, lions, leopard, hippo, crocodiles etc. The MET and relevant stakeholders are working out some modalities to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts and also to develop a permanent and affordable funding structure that will not drain Government and Communities’ resources.
MET Permanent Secretary Dr Malan Lindeque and Director Mr Colgar Sikopo giving a presentation to the Habitat Committee
NACSO Director Maxi Pia Louis and Mr Richard Diggle from WWF giving a presentation to the Habitat Committee