Botswana’s former President, His Excellency Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama will next month host an international conference to examine and share methods to mitigate human wildlife conflict and strategies to combat poaching in Africa.
General Khama, an avid conservation enthusiast is renowned for his stellar work in wildlife protection. In 1989 he founded Khama Rhino Sanctuary, and in the 1990’s as then head of the Botswana Defence Force, was part of an anti-poaching unit that assisted in the battle against poaching. So successful was this unit that it was the subject of a successful National Geographic Documentary titled Wildlife Warriors.
Human wildlife conflict (HWC) is a serious threat to the survival of many endangered species and the sustainability of community livelihoods. It occurs when animals pose a direct and recurring threat to the livelihood or safety of people, leading to the persecution of that species. Retaliation against the species often ensues, leading to conflict on how to remedy the situation. This is not a new scenario, as people and wildlife have coexisted for millennia. There are immense challenges in addressing HWC, in particular because underlying cultural, political and economic aspects that shape these conflicts are often very complex and poorly understood.
These conflicts threaten the healthy co-existence of people and wildlife and undermine conservation efforts. The conference to be held in Kasane, will thus bring together delegates from 20 countries and a visit to the local communities. It will discuss and debate insights and solutions for human-wildlife conflict management and poaching, to provide a better understanding of the different approaches and solutions to manage and reduce HWC. The conference will discuss best practices from countries that have implemented successful measures and discuss futuristic solutions to poaching.