BIDPA briefs Ntlo ya Dikgosi
This week, BIDPA addressed the virtual Ntlo ya Dikgosi to share findings of a study titled; Social Impact Analysis of the Human-Wildlife conflict on Victims and their Families in Botswana. As custodians of natural resources in their territories and leaders of their communities, Dikgosi are important stakeholders and their voices will be critical in the review and formulation of future acts and policies to address human-wildlife conflicts.
Addressing the house, BIDPA Sociologist and author Dr Israel R. Blackie said the aim of the study was to ascertain the magnitude and social impacts of human-wildlife conflict on victims and their families. Also, the study sought to assess the relevance and effectiveness of the Ex-gratia Payment scheme to wildlife animal attack victims, which was introduced in 2015.
In response, Dikgosi commended BIDPA for recognising Ntlo ya Dikgosi as important stakeholders in the dissemination of the findings of the study. The house applauded BIDPA for conducting the study, saying there has not been enough research on the area of human-wildlife conflict regarding its devastating impacts on communities. They underscored that the findings will help shape future interventions and policies to deal with the ever-escalating challenges posed by the wildlife.
The house endorsed findings and recommendations of the study which called for the establishment of the Ex – Gracia Scheme/Tribunal that would responsible for addressing all issues of human –wildlife conflict. They even suggested the need to introduce a levy paid by tourism enterprises to fund the establishment of the entity that would make it more sustainable to ensure improved quality of life for victims and their families.
According to the speakers, since majority of HWC victims are from hard to reach areas, the tribunal will ensure access to specialised medical care and any other services that may be required.
In conclusion, the house called for sensitization workshops for communities adjacent to parks and game reserves to be able to protect themselves from attacks by the wild animals as they would be empowered to recognize certain behaviour patterns.