News & updates

CAMPFIRE and Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Local Communities Bordering Northern Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

Share on twitter
Share this

Originally published on Ecology and Society.

ABSTRACT

Human-wildlife conflicts are a global problem, and are occurring in many countries where human and wildlife requirements overlap. Conflicts are particularly common near protected areas where societal unrest is large. To ease conflict, integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) have been implemented. The Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) is an example of an ICDP. We hypothesized that (i) a higher perceived effectiveness of CAMPFIRE would be associated with a decline in human-wildlife conflicts, and (ii) local communities with higher perceived effectiveness of CAMPFIRE programs would have more favorable attitudes towards problematic wild animals. Four focus group discussions and interviews with 236 respondents were conducted in four local communities adjacent to northern Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe from December 2010 to August 2011. Moreover, we included data on recorded incidences of human-wildlife conflicts and CAMPFIRE financial returns to study communities between 2000 and 2010. Our results indicate that local communities showed considerable differences in how CAMPFIRE effectiveness was perceived. Local communities with higher ratings of CAMPFIRE effectiveness generally perceived a decline in human-wildlife conflicts, although some people had experienced problems with wild animals. Attitudes towards main problematic wild animals varied across the study communities and were partly associated with perceived CAMPFIRE effectiveness. Our findings partly support both of our study hypotheses. Contextual factors across the four local communities seemed to influence the perceived effectiveness of CAMPFIRE programs and attitudes towards problematic wildlife species. We recommend that decisions and actions regarding the control of problem animals be devolved to the community level in order to help reduce human-wildlife conflicts in community-based natural resources management programs.

For the full paper, go to Ecology and Society.

Related content

IWMC Feature

Conservation Influencers

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.

Wildlife Conservation Society

In 1906, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) put an African man on display in Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. In 1918, one of WCS’s founding fathers, Madison Grant, published Passing of the Great Race, which Adolf Hitler referred to as his ‘Bible’. Another leading creator and early leader of WCS, Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr, was also a founder of the American Eugenics Society. His son headed WCS from 1940 to 1968, overseeing a series of major initiatives in Africa. There, WCS became one of the architects of the prohibition movement, which put wildlife for consumptive use and vast regions of land out of bounds to humanity. In 2020, WCS distanced itself in public from the racist views of Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr. But it has yet to issue a critical account of the legacy of Fairfield Osborn Jr, even though he led WCS into the modern era while sharing similar politically-inspired ecological goals to his father and Grant. WCS devotes considerable financial resources to influencing outcomes at CITES. WCS’s CEO reportedly earns USD$1,320,978.

Read more...