Alvine Kapitako Windhoek-Spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Romeo Muyunda, has admitted that human-wildlife conflict has increased of late. “Mostly as a result of the prolonged drought situations experienced in the country over the years. The drought situation has led to the reduction in prey numbers,” said Muyunda in response to questions by New Era on complaints by Kunene councillors, who expressed concern over lions on the loose, especially in the Sesfontein area. The lion population recovered after the introduction of innovative conservation methods by the ministry of environment shortly after independence, stated Muyunda. He also explained that the ministry has never relocated lions to Sesfontein or areas around Palmwag. Regarding the current compensation policy, he said the ministry is aware about the concerns of the amounts offered under the self-reliance scheme of the national policy on human-wildlife conflict. “In this regard, the ministry has embarked on a process to review the 2009 policy with the aim to increase the amounts and review strategies for managing human-wildlife conflict. Public consultations have been done in this regard,” added Muyunda. Ministry of Environment and Tourism and its partners are working around the clock to implement measures to reduce human-wildlife conflict, particularly involving lions. “Recently, the ministry launched the North-West Human Lion Conflict Management Plan with specific strategies to manage lion conflicts with human. The ministry is mobilising resources for the implementation of this plan,” added the environment and tourism spokesperson. Sometimes results are not immediate and the public should know that human wildlife conflict is complicated in nature, he said. “Furthermore, every person has a general duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent or minimise damage being caused or to be caused by wild animals. Human-wildlife conflict should not be viewed as a sole responsibility of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism,” Muyunda further elaborated.
2017-12-20 09:25:59 8 months ago