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University of the Witwatersrand (2009)

Legal and institutional arrangements for damage caused by wildlife in Kenya and Botswana

Sifuna, Nixon Wanyama

Titre : Legal and institutional arrangements for damage caused by wildlife in Kenya and Botswana

Auteur : Sifuna, Nixon Wanyama

Université de soutenance : University of the Witwatersrand

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Law 2009

Résumé partiel
In both Kenya and Botswana, wildlife is a valuable natural resource in terms of its economic value, nutritional value, ecological value, medicinal value, educational and scientific value, as well as recreational and socio-cultural value. Despite this beneficial value, however, wild animals in both countries also cause damage and impose heavy losses on society. They also disrupt peaceful existence in local communities living in close proximity to wildlife areas. The damage they cause includes attacks on people and livestock, destruction of crops and other property as well as infrastructure. This has resulted in a human-wildlife conflict, with people having negative attitudes towards wildlife. Initially people seem to be the victims when wild animals attack them or destroy their property. Later, the animals are the real victims when people in retaliation start attacking, ensnaring or poisoning them. Contrary to the belief that it contributes to poverty alleviation, many people in the local communities in wildlife areas strongly believe wildlife has contributed to their poverty. Unless the governments of both Kenya and Botswana maintain efficient legal and institutional arrangements for wildlife damage, the future of wildlife conservation in both countries is bleak. These arrangements, if effectively enforced, have the potential to : reduce retaliatory killing of wildlife ; ensure incidents of wildlife damage are reported ; alleviate the losses and suffering associated with wildlife damage ; and bolster public support for conservation programmes. It is encouraging that both countries recognize wildlife damage as a major problem and have put in place legal and institutional arrangements to address this problem. This study evaluated the legal and institutional arrangements in Kenya and Botswana on wildlife damage, assessing their suitability, adequacy as well as their effectiveness. While several studies have been conducted on wildlife damage, most of them mainly focus on institutional arrangements and the actual abatement measures adopted, few of them approach the subject from a legal standpoint, in the way this study does. Those studies do not, for instance, discuss the legal basis of the need for legal arrangements for wildlife damage alleviation and the various approaches and actual forms of legal intervention. This author through the use of semi-structured interviews, self-administered questionnaires, focus group discussions, and literature survey investigated the problem of ii wildlife damage in Kenya and Botswana. A central part of this investigation was on the types of damage, the animals involved, whether and how this problem has influenced public attitudes towards wildlife conservation, and suggestions for solution. Research for this study was conducted in the Laikipia region of Kenya and the Okavango delta region of Botswana between January and December 2006. This researcher interviewed 44 respondents from each country, comprising households from the local communities within wildlife areas, senior ranking government officials, leaders of NGOs that actually work on wildlife issues, experts in natural resource management as well as eminent scholars in environmental and natural resources law and policy. Research for this study established that while the governments of both Kenya and Botswana have established certain legal and institutional frameworks on wildlife damage, there are factors that hamper their efficient operation. These factors include the relevance and suitability of the existing laws, as well as their acceptability to stakeholders ; lack of appropriate policy framewoks and dispute resolution mechanisms to support the regulatory regime ; institutional problems such as overlapping responsibilities, lack of adequate resources and lack of motivation among staff.

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