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Review the Wildlife Act, compensation regimes

SHARE   |   Monday, 17 September 2018   |   By Thomas Dust Nyoni
Review the Wildlife Act, compensation regimes

Thomas Dust Nyoni

Ace on Natural Resources

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 "Five years ago I paid P25 000 for a bull. About 20 minutes ago I received a call that the bull was killed by lions. Government compensation is P3 000. What can I do to make Government compensate me fully for the bull?"

Sorry mate! In accordance with the provision of Section 87 (1) of Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act No 28 of 1992 "No liability shall attach to the State or the Minister or the Director or any Wildlife Officer or gate attendant for any loss of life or property or any damage or injury sustained by any person anywhere in Botswana by reason of the presence, action or depredations of any non- captive animal, whether or not such animal is within a national park, game reserve or sanctuary."

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What the cost of maintaining that 25K bull over a period of 5 years? Compensation is a “tsek” to farmers.  Farmers should determine the market value of the bull There is emotional attachment to the bull Psychological treatment should be offered at the cost of the government Farmers are up in arms; The revenge will be great, don’t say we didn’t warn you minister Merapelo Barata in a social media wrote this “Barui kea lwala. 5 years I paid 25 k for a bull. About 20 minutes ago I received a call that the bull was killed by lions. Government compensation is 3K. What can I do to make government compensate me fully for the bull”? The bull was bought to improve the breeds, and generate income for the person. However, in accordance with the provision of Section 87 (1) of Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act No 28 of 1992 "No liability shall attach to the State or the Minister or the Director or any Wildlife Officer or gate attendant for any loss of life or property or any damage or injury sustained by any person anywhere in Botswana by reason of the presence, action or depredations of any non- captive animal, whether or not such animal is within a national park, game reserve or sanctuary." Do we understand the frustration of farmers? It is both property and economic loss, and all the emotional attachment to the bull that pains the person. From a Tswana traditional setup Cattle are a very important source of livelihoods and an important asset to households and to the cultures of most tribes. The livestock species play very important economic, social and cultural roles or functions for rural households because they contribute to improve income and wellbeing of the farm family. Livestock helps on food supply, family nutrition, family income, asset savings, soil productivity, livelihoods, transport, agricultural traction, agricultural diversification and sustainable agricultural production, family and community employment, ritual purposes and social status. Livestock feature as living savings that can be converted into cash whenever the family needs it, is a security asset influencing access to informal credits and loans and being also a source of collateral for loans. In many rural regions, in special where financial markets are absent or non-existent, livestock stocks or herds are a source of asset accumulation and a measure of prosperity. Livestock stocks or assets can be mobilized at any time, satisfying planned expenditures such as children school fees and bride wealth or unplanned expenses such as the illness and death of family members. We believe in cattle. If you don’t believe think of all the cattle given the former president on his retirement, including the improved “Simmentals” from Bobonong region!!!! This livestock asset could be seen as "bank account" and it is also an important source of family savings that can be used in years of low crop production, reducing income insecurity and household vulnerability, being an important source of risk reduction and security increase.

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The relationships between people and carnivores are complex and are influenced by a variety of factors including: life history characteristics of carnivore species, the direct experiences between people and carnivores, and individual attitudes and values. Negative interactions that arise from the interaction between carnivores and private landowners, especially with respect to depredation of livestock by large carnivores, are a topic of international concern. This has been the debate in Botswana. My position is that we are subjecting Batswana to poverty and the ministry is not doing enough to address the human wildlife conflict. Their only interest is on the tourism part. Please tlhomogelang Batswana pelo lo bareetse. Lo setlhogo waitse! Human-wildlife conflict can be managed through a variety of approaches. Prevention strategies endeavor to avoid the conflict occurring in the first place and take action towards addressing its root causes. Protection strategies are implemented when the conflict is certain to happen or has already occurred. Mitigation strategies attempt to reduce the level of impact and lessen the problem. Guarding herds and taking steps to actively defend them are essential features of animal husbandry. Where herdsmen are present, the rate of depredation is generally lower than in free-ranging herds In East Africa, where human herders are effective and fearless in warding off predators, herders are reported to challenge and scare away dangerous carnivores such as lions, hyenas and cheetahs with nothing more than simple weapons such as spears, knifes or firearms Traditionally, the most common approach has been ex-post compensation, where a cash payment is made to cover the costs of a livestock animal loss (killed or injured) due to a depredation event by a large carnivore after the damage has occurred. The calculation is poor because it doesn’t take care of the money spent on feeds, diseases on the past five years. Individuals may thus require at least twice as many benefits than costs in order to tolerate wildlife particularly if they have strong attachment to their livestock. The relative importance of costs versus benefits in determining attitudes to different wildlife species would therefore be an important future management imperative in determining compensations this would usefully inform the ratio and types of benefits needed in order to counter the costs of living with wildlife. Be Innovative, Minister in introducing novel approaches to human wildlife conflict. For example Using livestock guarding dogs to protect stock has a long history, and has proved effective in a wide variety of situations, from guarding stock against bears in Europe to protecting them against wolves and coyotes in the states. This is also happening in Namibia where cattle losses have relatively one down. I personal advocate for Compensation in advance includes supporting assistance schemes and/or performance payments. These programs aim to increase the sense of landowner responsibility and are based on the premise that prevention is better than reactionary measures. Assistance schemes usually involve partial financial support (grants or loans) for materials and technical support to cover initial costs of incorporating husbandry practices that are more carnivore-compatible. This type of compensation is increasing in popularity for example Large Carnivore Initiatives for Europe 2007). Examples of improvements may include electric fencing, livestock guard dogs, and improved enclosures. Assistance schemes and performance payments are compensation methods that aim to reduce the risks of negative human-carnivore interaction. They differ from ex-post compensation because the payment is made in advance of a depredation event. These programs tend to focus on implementing strategies to reduce the risk and/or to create incentives to maintain carnivores on the landscape. Mr. Minister and the Permanent Secretary your Ministry should revamp the old CEO that was doing a very good job. It is my conviction that Education and training activities could be directed towards disseminating innovative techniques, building local capacity for conflict prevention and resolution, and increasing public understanding of human-wildlife conflict. Educating rural villagers in practical skills would help them deal with dangerous wild animal species and acquire and develop new tools for defending their crops and livestock. Over time, it would result in a change of behavior among local populations and would contribute to reduced risks, improvements in local livelihoods and a reduction in their vulnerability. In an optimistic scenario, education and training would promote commitment towards conservation, raise awareness of the essential role of wildlife in ecosystem functioning and its ethical and economic value, as well as its recreational and aesthetic importance. Lastly let’s implement resolution of the National Technical Workshop on Predators that was held in Maun Lodge in 2003. Batswana and their Cattle First, Wildlife Last!



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