|The recently formed Task Force on Human Wildlife Conflict Compensation Schemes is highlighted in the attached PowerPoint document.
The Task Force, led by the former IG of Police, Jospeph Boinett, visited Laikipia for two days in July. More than 50 regional participants (KWS, MCAs, County Governments’ personnel, NGOs, and ranchers were engaged with the Task Force in a full-day discussion.
Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) figures as the most prominent challenge facing wildlife conservation in this country and it challenges the institutional capacity of KWS. The failures of the compensation system envisioned in the Wildlife Management and Conservation Act of 2013 have led to widespread frustration, criticism and outrage.
Laikipia’s very own Abdi Sora, Borana CFO, and Laikipia conservancies representative, is a Task Force member. He did an excellent job of negotiating the stormy waters of compensation frustration in the discussion.
It’s clear that the national human wildlife conflict compensation scheme is in disarray. The Government does not allocate the funds necessary to support the policies and regulations guiding compensation. The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, the compensation fund managers, have failed to make good on timely and complete compensation. The compensation registration system is expensive and unwieldy, and the dissolution of the County Wildlife Compensation and Conservation Committee, means there is no longer a vehicle connecting conservation and compensation to counties.
Too much of the dialog is focused on the failures of the existing system, rather than on reducing HWC and the tools for doing that. We certainly don’t want our compensation burden to grow; in addition to the fact that we can’t afford it!
From where we sit, there are still four thematic areas that the Task Force needs to address.
1. How do we make wildlife conservation, conflict prevention, mitigation, and compensation more closely linked to counties and communities?
2. Instead of just talking about compensation, why aren’t we talking about the incentives that support better wildlife conservation, conflict prevention and mitigation.
3. What responsibilities do landscape constituents have for avoiding/preventing human wildife conflicts in known wildife corridors and areas of high wildlife importance? How do these responsibilities get linked to CIDPs and County Spatial (land use) Plans?
4. Why hasn’t the Goverment redeployed KWS forces to areas of known high HWC, and helped them to become more responsive, timely and helpful in their support?
HWC is widely understood, mapped and plotted throughout our country. So are our wildlife corridors and wildlife hotspots. There are a variety of tested interventions aimed at HWC prevention and mitigation.
There are definite HWC hotspots that deserve immediate and focused attention. It’s in these places that we can demonstrate the success of the FULL portfolio of wildlife conservation, protection, HWC prevention, mitigation, and effective compensation efforts. Encouraging local responsibility and accountability for accepting wildlife as part of a land use should be encouraged, assisted and rewarded.
Focusing on COMPENSATION alone is a mistake.
Those who want to be heard by the HWC Compensation Task Force should writecommunications and these comments will be assembled and forwarded to the Task Force. The deadline in July 31, 2019.