Complementary management of wildlife and livestock in West Africa – Utopia or development perspective?

Income from game viewing and trophy hunting is increasing in eastern and southern areas, game populations are increasing in some countries and programmes like CAMPFIRE have shown the potentials for local communities to benefit from these trends and National Parks. In West Africa, by contrast, there has been a sharp decline in wildlife populations and nature conservation and rural development are still antagonists. In 1999 GTZ started a special project on complementary management of wildlife and livestock in West Africa with the aim of indicating potentials of improving income in rural areas from wildlife management. A workshop in Niamey explored possibilities of enhancing complementarity between livestock and wildlife management and a
guidebook has been prepared. Traditionally wildlife was well managed, with some species (e.g. ostriches in northern Niger) even moving with livestock herds, or planned extraction e.g. of hippopotami in Mali. However state ownership undermined traditional rules for wildlife management with no effective institution replacing them. Indiscriminate hunting by state officials or princes from Gulf States contributes more to the destruction of wildlife than local hunting, which is often criminalized. Nevertheless small game, such duikers, grass-cutters or giant snails contribute substantially to local meat supply, yet sustainability is endangered because of high hunting pressure. Some species such as grass-cutters or giant rats are now partly domesticated, giving rural people additional income. The inadequacies of the legal framework in West Africa have been recognised and reforms of the Code pastorale and other laws are under way granting local people more rights to wildlife. Stakeholder platform have been created to include sustainable use of of wildlife as part of natural resource management. Initiatives such as the “Projet des girafes à Koure, Niger” show the potentials of such an approach. Here – outside a national park” – the last giraffes in West Africa are protected. People benefit from giraffes from giraffe tours, sales of curios, get external support for vegetable marketing as compensation for possible crop losses through wildlife, but local people also take increasingly pride in their giraffes, which have over the last 5 years considerably increased in numbers.

Publish DateApril 26, 2020
Last UpdatedJanuary 26, 2021
Size186.03 KB