Today staff from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC), the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF), Deustche Gesellchaft fur Internationale Zuzammenarbeit (GIZ), and the University of Minnesota Lion Center, met in Swakopmund for a progress report and planning session on human-lion conflict issues facing rural communities in northwest Namibia. This meeting primarily functioned as an update from last September’s Northwest Human-Lion Conflict Management Meeting.
It was great to hear updates from so many people working in the field and developing lion monitoring tools. The meeting was kicked-off with a technical update on a ground-breaking early warning system being developed by Desert Lion Conservation. The first early warning tower has already been deployed at Driefonteine in the Torra Conservancy, and other systems are being manufactured as we speak. Hopefully the already positive results will continue to be honed for increasingly strengthened results – the goal of adaptive management. This work is already having a major positive effect on northwest lion conservation.
Russell Vinjevold of IRDNC provided status updates on the training and deployment of the Lion Rangers. One of the key aspects the assembled group addressed was to ensure the burgeoning Lion Ranger program receives the necessary support to ensure successful and sustainable operation.
There remains a lot of work to do, but lots of good progress was reported. Thanks so much to Mr. Bennett Kahuure of MET and Mr. Willie Boonzaaier of IRDNC for chairing the meeting.