The last four months we have worked with Leonie Erst, a researcher from the university of Aarhus in Denmark. Leonie researched human-wildlife conflict in our Region.
In cooperation with Ubuntu Wildlife Trust we thought it was worth looking into the challenges we face between humans and conservation.
Human–wildlife conflict (HWC) refers to the negative interactions between human and wild animals. With undesirable consequences both for people and their resources, on the one hand, and wildlife and their habitats on the other (IUCN 2020). HWC, caused by competition for natural resources between human and wildlife, influences human food securities and the well-being of both humans and animals. In our region, the number of these conflicts has increased in recent decades as a result of human population growth and the transformation of land use.
Leonie interviewed many people from the communities living next to the wildlife areas. She was asking questions about the history, the struggles, but also about how people historically and currently benefit from the wildlife reserves.
She also interviewed people working in conservation, having to protect the wild areas against wildlife crimes, like poaching. And Leonie has met with the community leaders who were happy to help and provide her with all the information and contacts that she needed.
For the future we are hoping that we can work towards a situation where everybody can understand the importance of nature but also that everybody will be included in benefitting from the existence of wild areas close by.
Over the last months we have worked on a project proposal seeking the funding to build a community center where we can have our new offices and counseling spaces. More about that coming soon. Leonie’s contribution to writhing the proposal was more than helpful.
Thank you Leo for helping us out! We very much appreciate your hard work, knowledge and motivation. We hope to see you back soon!