Village Scout support for local communities suffering from human/elephant conflict, Lower Zambezi, Zambia
The Lower Zambezi ecosystem is home to one of Africa’s largest elephant populations however, the area is also home to a growing human population. As a result, valuable resources need to be shared and are competed for by humans and wildlife leading to dangerous tension between communities and wildlife. In addition to the threat of poaching for ivory and bush meat, human-elephant conflict is a constant threat to the safety of both the local elephant and human populations and to the food security of the disadvantaged human population. With the support of IEF, the first HEC Village Scout patrols began in January 2014 and received an overwhelmingly positive reception, with harvests increasing and attitudes towards wildlife and their protection improved. Trained not just in wildlife law enforcement but also in elephant behavior, these teams help farmers avoid property and physical damage. GPS information from patrols and HEC incidents are also recorded and used with other information to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of project.