Thanks to the Anabeb Conservancy Chairman Titus Rungundo and the entire Anabeb Conservancy for hosting an interesting and productive meeting of the Kunene Regional Community Conservancy Association (KRCCA) these past two days. With representatives from six conservancies in attendance, the key item on the agenda was disagreements over unsanctioned land settlers – a problem that member conservancies have now been facing for almost five years. KRCCA Chairman Gustaph Tjiundukamba presided over the meeting and was superlative in smoothing-over areas of dispute and ensuring that all interested parties were given a chance to have their voices heard.
Meeting participants were also kind enough to allow John Heydinger and Craig Packer to introduce our research examining human-wildlife conflict in Kunene. While a handful of participants voiced questions about what type of impact such research would have for conservancy members, Anabeb Chairman Rungundo, Sesfontein Chairman Useil Naub, and the assembled members of the KRCCA agreed that the research should go forward and stated specific interest in learning from our findings. (KRCCA has recently requested that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism authorize increased trophy hunting quotas for lions and elephants to alleviate human-wildlife conflict in Kunene.) We look forward to joining Conservancy Game Guards in their field patrols in the coming weeks and to interviewing conservancy members in the months to come.