News / Africa

FAO Works to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rural Africa

Conflict mitigation tool kit offers practical suggestions for protecting crops from forest neighbors

Red Colobus monkey
Red Colobus monkey
TEXT SIZE - +
Kim Lewis

Rural Africans often face problems trying to co-exist with wildlife.  Baboons steal food.  Elephants stampede through their crops.  And the animals are also under stress, as their habitat is lost to human settlement.

But help is at hand.  The Conflict Mitigation Tool Kit, created by the government of Zimbabwe and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), offers some solutions to the competition for land and food between people and their forest neighbors.

The FAO’s Forestry and Wildlife Officer, Rene Czudek, in Harare, Zimbabwe, explained how the kit works.  “We have done quite some work on human wildlife conflict in Africa but mostly they were like paper studies, guidelines that never reached the real clients in the field.  So this Tool Kit should allow us to approach the community and discuss with them the best options to prevent or mitigate human-wildlife conflict in rural Africa.”

Kenyan Lion
Kenyan Lion

The kit contains useful information in the form of colorful tips that often come across as funny but that can help with serious problems.

“We try to put together all possible methods to prevent or mitigate human-wildlife conflict,” Czudek said.  “Some of them are quite funny and I think our colleagues in the communication department in Rome [used humor] to attract attention….  But the main aim is to propose methods that are cost effective and could work in rural conditions in Africa.”

In one example, he explained how people can protect their crops and themselves from elephants.

“For an elephant raiding crops, we have different kinds of tools and one of them is to make chili.  You just grow chili, then you can mix it with some elephant dung, then you light it with charcoal and then this burning brick will just smell bad for the elephants. Since they don’t like chili pepper they will avoid going to the field,” said Czudek.

The kit provides as many tools as possible, he said, because after a while the animals get used to the first method and it loses effectiveness.

“In our tool kit,” he said, “we stress the need to do proper land use planning.  So, if you put your crops on an elephant corridor, there is a big chance it will be raided.”

FAO Works to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rural Africa
FAO Works to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rural Africa

The FAO says where humans and wild animals share the same spaces, danger cannot be totally eliminated.  For instance, Czudek pointed to the danger facing people living in the same areas as crocodiles.

In Mozambique and Zimbabwe, he said, people do not take the proper precautions in bathing, washing clothes and collecting water.

“So there is this need to be aware, he said, "that there is a risk and you can put crocodile fencing around some areas where the people can go for collecting water, washing clothes, etc.”

For baboons, who steal food, the Tool Kit suggests a live snake sandwich – hollowing out the center of a loaf of bread and putting a snake in it. “It’s quite a drastic method, but baboons have a very good memory.  When they experience something like this, they don’t repeat it,” said Czudek.  He added that the kit does offer other ways to deal with baboons.

The goal of the Tool Kit is harmonious co-habitation, Czudek said, protecting both humans and wildlife.  He added that since “wildlife can be a valuable asset to humans,” human-wildlife conflict may one day become a human-wildlife alliance.  

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid