Ramsar-related Recommendations of the World Parks Congress, Durban, September 2003


Rec 5.20 Preventing and Mitigating Human-Wildlife Conflicts

Human-wildlife conflict occurs when the needs and behaviour of wildlife impact negatively on the goals of humans or when the goals of humans negatively impact the needs of wildlife. These conflicts may result when wildlife damage crops, injure or kill domestic animals, threaten or kill people.

As human activities continue to intensify in and around protected areas and wildlife threatens the economic security, livelihoods and even lives of people, human-wildlife conflict escalates. Consequently, if protected areas and other pertinent authorities fail to address such conflicts adequately, local support for conservation declines.

While some remedial measures and tools exist to assist stakeholders to prevent or mitigate this conflict, most of this information is strongly site and species /genera specific, and is not widely or easily accessed by protected area managers who most closely confront HWC. In addition, the lessons learned in these specific sites and within taxonomic groups often have applicability across a wider spectrum. However, there is no existing international forum to address HWC across taxonomic groups, disciplines and geographic regions with a mandate to develop and share lessons, tools and strategies to prevent and mitigate the ecological, social and economic costs of human-wildlife conflict.

By better addressing human-wildlife conflict issues, through coordinated global, national, regional and local action, we, as a conservation community, will be able to more successfully conserve protected areas and wildlife, mitigate the economic and social costs to local communities, and thus realize the “benefits beyond boundaries.”

IUCN has recognized the importance of this issue in the support given to the realization of the workshop “Creating Coexistence between Humans and Wildlife: Global Perspectives on Local Efforts to Address Human-Wildlife Conflict”, with linkages in the Landscapes/Seascapes Stream & Community and Equity Cross-cutting theme.

Therefore, PARTICIPANTS in the Steam on Linkages in the Landscape/Seascape at the Vth World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa (8-17 September 2003):

RECOMMEND that local, national, and international conservation organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, interest groups and specifically IUCN, to:

1. SUPPORT the establishment of an international forum that will act as a global network for addressing human-wildlife conflict issues where IUCN members, CBD parties, protected area managers, communities and other stakeholders can collaborate to share lessons, resources and expertise and continue the development of appropriate approaches and strategies, by working across taxa, disciplines and geographic regions;

2. STRENGTHEN the capacity of protected area managers, communities, stakeholders and others to better prevent and mitigate human-wildlife conflict in all regions in which it occurs;

3. ENSURE national and international cooperation in developing and supporting programs to address human-wildlife conflict among institutions responsible for conservation in conflict areas;

4. ENCOURAGE governments and conservation authorities at the local, national, and international levels to recognize the pressing need to alleviate these conflicts, prioritise management decisions, planning and action to prevent and mitigate human-wildlife conflict, and incorporate global, regional and local mechanisms to ensure proper addressing of these issues; and

5. ENCOURAGE national and international funding organizations to designate and allocate adequate financial resources to support programmes targeted at preventing and mitigating human-wildlife conflicts.

Stream: Linkages in the Landscape/Seascape

Stream Lead: Peter Bridgewater

Recommendation Title
Rec 5.09 Integrated Landscape Management to Support Protected Areas
Rec 5.10 Policy Linkages between Relevant International Conventions and Programmes in Integrating Protected Areas in the Wider Landscape/Seascape
Rec 5.11 A Global Network to Support the Development of Transboundary Conservation Initiatives
Rec 5.20 Preventing and Mitigating Human-Wildlife Conflicts
Rec 5.28 Protected areas: mining and energy
Rec 5.31 Protected areas, freshwater and integrated river basin management frameworks
The full report and other outputs of the WPC stream on "Linkages in the Landscape and Seascape" are available on the Web site of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), http://www.iucn.org/themes/cem/linkages.htm.
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