Local bank enhances humans-wildlife co-existence research projects
The FirstRand Namibia Foundation recently handed over N$300,000 to support human-wildlife co-existence research projects of the Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).
The IRDNC’s research projects offer practical solutions to keeping elephants out of crops and villages, and tourism initiatives aimed at helping communities understand the value of keeping these gentle giants alive.
Revonia Kahivere, FirstRand Namibia Foundation CSI Manager said that while people globally reaped the benefits of maintaining flourishing wildlife populations, there were also cases where wildlife and human conflict has led to death and destruction.
“This was the case with the unique elephant population, known as the Kunene Highlands Elephants, which have in the past conflicted with the local communities over natural resources – which has been exacerbated by the drought conditions experienced over the last six years in Kunene,” she said.
IRDNC Executive Director, John Kasaona said with this financial support they will continue to work hand-in-hand with relevant communities, and stakeholders towards establishing a long-term monitoring system as well facilitating wildlife events.
“Sharing of knowledge, and incentivising volunteer elephant rangers, as well as training of rangers and communities on elephant behaviour, is also part of this initiative. Since human-elephant conflict is one of the issues identified, the focus will also expose communities to different approaches on how to avert and mitigate human-elephant conflicts. Overall, the funding will help to promote the long-term conservation and protection of one of Namibia’s unique Elephant populations through the implementation of the different interventions and objectives,” Kasaona said.