Volume 4, Issue 6, November 2019, Page: 188-197
Community Perceptions of Human-wildlife Conflicts and the Compensation Scheme Around Nyungwe National Park (Rwanda)
Umuziranenge Gloriose, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences, Huye, Rwanda
Received: Aug. 19, 2019;       Accepted: Sep. 12, 2019;       Published: Dec. 6, 2019
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijnrem.20190406.15      View  71      Downloads  82
In African countries, crop-raiding by wild animals and human-wildlife conflicts are recurrent and common concerns for conservationists, protected areas managers and surrounding populations. At different levels, these challenges hinder the achievement of conservation goals. Although researchers have widely studied human-wildlife conflicts in Nyungwe National Park, few have examined its impact and lived experiences of local communities who are regularly facing crop-raiding by wild animals. The present study conducted in areas adjacent to the park including those affected with a high rate of crop raiding aimed to assess: (1) the community perceptions on human-wildlife conflicts and (2) the community perceptions on the compensation schemes set up to minimize the conflicts. For this purpose, a qualitative method was adopted. It relied on field semi-structured interviews with the representatives of conservation key stakeholders including local communities that experienced crop raiding. On one hand, the findings indicated that communities affected by generalized crop raiding are complaining about socio-economic and livelihood losses, food insecurity and injury. On the other hand, they showed that affected communities are not satisfied with the compensation scheme. Difficult requirements for compensation, complicated compensation procedure, rejection of compensation claims, undervalued payment and irregular compensation and delay of payments were identified as key problems that keep human-wildlife conflicts at high levels. The compensation process is so slow, so long and so costly that the victims of crop raiding abandon compensation claims. As a result, local communities continue to deal with self-defense since monetary compensation is unable to decrease the level of crop raiding. The findings call for an improved compensation scheme for reduced human-wildlife conflicts and efficient management following the model of effective compensation. Even though fencing the Park could be expensive, it would be a viable option to minimize wild-animals escape from the park. In addition, enhancing collective guiding system was proposed by the local community as their innovative strategy that could reduce crop raiding.
Crop Raiding, Human Wildlife Conflicts, Compensation Scheme, Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda
To cite this article
Umuziranenge Gloriose, Community Perceptions of Human-wildlife Conflicts and the Compensation Scheme Around Nyungwe National Park (Rwanda), International Journal of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2019, pp. 188-197. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnrem.20190406.15
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