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Five Southern African countries seek to address human-elephant conflict

Christian Fernsby |
Five Southern African countries have concluded a ministerial meeting on Monday with an aim to address the conflict between humans and elephants housed in the region.

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The meeting, as a precursor to the 2019 Elephant Summit, was held in Kasane, northern Botswana, and attended by representatives from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Russell Taylor, one of the summit's facilitators, said at the close of the meeting that one of the meeting's resolutions on elephant management is to ensure continuous assessment of elephants' impact and address the human-wildlife conflict through dialogue, information and communication.

On the legal trade and use of live elephants and their body-parts, Taylor said there should be engagement of transit and destination countries for illegal ivory at bilateral and multilateral levels to address issues of demand reduction, to lobby support for proposals to review Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and to increase community participation in CITES ahead of the next CITES Conference.

Referring to the human-elephant conflict as "a challenge" for most states of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA), Taylor said there should be integrated land use planning and harmonization of land use policies at the KAZA-TFCA level.

According to Taylor, the meeting also discussed the much debated proposal to lift hunting ban on elephants, advocating that benefits from hunting should reach all people in the communities to alleviate poverty.

Heads of state in the region will gather for the elephant conservation summit on May 7 themed Towards A Common Vision for the Management of Our Elephants.


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