Local communities who reside in Game Management Area (GMA) regularly interact with wild animals as they share or compete over access to the limited space. Most often communities, have settled on the animal corridors or rely on use of water resources from the rivers, in the process of this human – wildlife interaction, conflict arises. These range from limited access to land, restriction on animal movements, loss of crops, lives and property.  These conflicts have in many instances created a hostile environment between communities, state departments responsible for wildlife and also with the wildlife itself.   Chiawa Game Management Area is located right up the heart of the elephant corridor and meanders along the Zambezi river, which makes it prone to more human wildlife conflicts.

Through the implementation of the enhancing CBNRM governance project, one of the key issues identified in human wildlife conflicts and weak systems to respond and manage this interaction for the betterment of species conservation and local livelihoods.  In order to contribute towards resolving or mitigating the effects of human wildlife conflicts, a series of dialogue meetings took place to engage the local communities and stakeholders in Chiawa with a purpose of deescalating the conflicts.

Through the EGC Biopama Project, the GMA has been supported through Prioritised actions of Community level Capacity Building in the VAGS and CRBs which has directly Information sharing with in the Landscape on Human Wildlife Conflicts. This has continued through the Human Wildlife Conflict Stakeholders Dialogues Meetings as a follow up action to the identified governance gaps and challenges during the Assessment Phases of the Project using the Governance Assessment for Protected Area (GAPA) Tool in the GMA.

An interesting Two stage Stakeholders Human Wildlife Conflict  dialogues engaged different key stakeholders these are Private sector, Protected Area Authorities these are the key government Departments,Traditional leadership,Councillors,Community to discuss several issues among them the  impact of Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) on human populations in Chiawa Game Management Area (GMA)in the Lower Zambezi Landscape. This impact is   immense and has been seen through the raiding of agricultural crops in the villages and communities and in extreme cases death or loss of lives due to the attacks. The Loss of crops, the damaging of granaries, loss of livestock which are domestic animals. When crop losses, property and human life losses get higher this in turn the humans may retaliate through negative attitudes towards conservation and begin to engage themselves in poaching and involvement in the illegal wildlife trade.

In the recent years the human populations have been growing and most of the people depend on agriculture, fishing as the main source of income and when their crops are damage or people are attacked by crocodiles and hippos this threatens the Conservation works in the landscape. The Different Protected areas and partners such as Zambezi Wildlife Trust, Conservation Lower Zambezi, Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Forestry Department, Fisheries Department, the Traditional Authorities have on-going sensitizations and community engagements as key mitigation measures and also introducing community driven projects that are an adaptation measure and also improves the well -being of the community.  These initiatives are implemented to also address the friction between protected area authorities such as key line departments and the local communities living in the regions that border these protected areas and the animals in these areas.

Species of Subject and type of HWC caused are;

Types of Human Wildlife Conflicts What Animal Specie cause HWC
Crop raiding
Elephants & Crocodiles
Loss of human lives of injuries
Hippos & Lions
Threat to human life
Hyenas & Baboons
Destroying of granaries
Monkeys & Buffalos
Loss of livestock
Bush Pigs


A review of the GMP or development of the land use plan for the GMA  is required in the Chiawa GMA this will indicate which  areas through a community-led process by identifying core areas for agriculture and development, as well as outlining zones for conservation management. The plan will be freely and easily accessible to community members, relevant government departments and other stakeholders. This will also address and reduce of the Human Wildlife Deaths and Losses of Human Beings.

There is need for communities to have continued positive attitude to conservation and also a checklist for Partners in maintaining the current buy-in that the local communities have towards conservation is cardinal with a key aspect of recognition of economically and ecologically aspects being importance.

There is need to improve the land use management systems in the area. An integrated Land use planning process should be encouraged and locally driven rules or guidelines should be developed on how to deal and handle these matters. This project has a laid a good foundation for consultation and stakeholder participation.

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