Congratulations to ≠Khoadi-//Hoas Conservancy for winning first place in the World’s Top Sustainable Destination Awards in the category "Best of Africa", in recognition of its efforts to solve human-wildlife conflict in the community.
The conservancy was recognized amongst other World’s Top 7 Sustainable Destinations around the world. Sustainable Destinations lead the way towards quality, attractiveness and sustainability in tourism. These destinations provide best practice experience for destination managers to involve their local communities in tourism and to avoid the problems of over tourism as we have sadly seen in many iconic places.
The conservancy in cooperation with its tourism partner, Grootberg Lodge, submitted a success story highlighting on its initiative-Wildlife Fund, a payment for ecosystem services aimed at helping communities and wildlife to co-exist. The fund does not only promise a sustainable management of natural resources, but it also provides incentives to local communities.
Grootberg Lodge and the ≠Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy work in close collaboration to protect the natural resources of the area and its wildlife and to reduce the human-wildlife conflict in the community by raising awareness amongst the locals to be more tolerant of the lions, cheetahs and elephants and understand their value from a tourism prospective. With the aim to support the local communities residing in the vicinity of wildlife areas, a Wildlife Fund was successfully established by Grootberg Lodge.
The lodge donates N$ 25 to the Wildlife Fund for each guest sighting of a predator while on an activity at the lodge. Lion, cheetah, leopard, wild cat, caracal and hyenas are all included in the list of sightings which contributes towards the fund. Due to Elephants and Rhinos also hugely adding to the Human-Wildlife conflict as they struggle to survive with limited amounts of water in the environment, the donation of N$ 25 to the Wildlife Fund has been extended to include sightings of these elusive species.
The Wildlife Fund is used to provide monetary compensation to community members who have suffered damages and financial losses as a result of Human-Wildlife Conflicts, specifically loss of livestock due to predator attacks. The Wildlife Fund has also provided funding to the community to construct protective kraals for livestock and new water points for wild animals.
The Management Team at Grootberg Lodge meticulously records the relevant animal sightings by each guest during their game drive activities. This data is then applied to calculate the monthly payments to be made to the Wildlife Fund.
Human-Wildlife conflict has always existed where people and wildlife share the same environment and compete for the same natural resources. Such conflicts are impossible to entirely eradicate and will continue in the future. Grootberg Lodge, in its small way, is therefore contributing towards the successful management of these conflicts in the most efficient way to ensure benefits for the local communities and help protect the wildlife in the area.
The Award Ceremony to celebrate the Winners is set to take place from 6-8 October 2020 at the Global Green Destination Days in Bodrum, Turkey.