Cascapedia River

Date June 1, 2022 09:29

Although southern African nations have set aside 18 percent of the land as national parks and wildlife preserves, human population pressure is reducing wildlife habitat and poaching is reducing wildlife herds.These people generally resent the fact that land is being set aside for animals rather than for people.Moreover, out of the parks and reserves come lions, leopards, elephants, and hippopotamuses that range onto communal lands where they destroy crops and livestock and occasionally people.Entrepreneurs who understand the problems of wildlife management in southern Africa are working with local communities and national governments to change the incentives faced by indigenous people on their communal lands.Between 60 and 80 percent of Africa’s people live in rural areas, and the overwhelming majority of them barely scrape by with subsistence farming and ranching.The lands they use are communally owned, and the soils are often poor for growing crops or forage for cattle.These same lands that are marginal for agriculture, however, can provide excellent wildlife habitat.The problem is that sustainable wildlife populations have not meant sustainable human populations.Of that amount, the community of Chikwarakwara received 87 percent of the total, because it was the top wildlife producer.Two other neighboring communities received much smaller amounts because of lower animal numbers.Free to determine how to use their proceeds, the people of Chikwarakwara decided to pay each of the 149 households in the community $80 as a wildlife dividend.Though the $80 dividend may not seem like a lot to wealthy westerners, it almost doubled the average annual cash income for each family.’’Now the people of Beitbridge are reported to be talking seriously about how to control poaching.The Binga District project capitalizes on its long shoreline at the western end of Lake Kariba and the adjacent Chizaria National Park, which forms a repository for wildlife roaming onto communal lands.The project includes a lease with a private hunting safari operator and joint ventures with two photographic safari operators.Plans are also under way for a commercial fishing venture.Bulalima Mangwe District has set aside a marshy area west of the Natal River for an elephant herd that forms the basis for safari hunting agreements between the district council and private operators.Though most projects are in their infancy, strong signs are already evident that poaching and habitat loss wanes when the wildlife becomes an asset to the local people.How effectively these programs will promote wildlife conservation in the future depends on whether the local communities bearing the brunt of wildlife costs are allowed to continue benefiting directly from their management efforts.Spawning for DollarsAfter years of reducing river pollution and temporarily halting the netting of Atlantic salmon on the high seas, Les Dominy of the Atlantic Salmon Federation believes it will be local Canadian communities and sportsmen who will supply the final piece of the recovery puzzle.The Exploits River near Grand Falls, Newfoundland, provides an excellent example of what can happen with community management of an Atlantic salmon fishery.In the past, the waterfall prevented fish from migrating any further than nine miles upstream for spawning.But construction of the fishway opened 200 additional miles of river for salmon spawning.The increase in salmon production is astounding.Conceived in 1983 and operational in 1985, the organization is an offshoot of early efforts by the Grand Falls Chamber of Commerce to enhance salmon fishing prospects on the Exploits River and thus bring the community more sportsmen’s dollars.The economic impact in the community is being felt as the increase in salmon has attracted more fishermen to the community.Now ten times that number flock to the river.Parsons estimates, conservatively, that the Exploits salmon fishery is bringing in roughly $2 million to the community.Volunteers are provided with a crest and a cap to let other fishermen know that the river is under constant surveillance.’This will be tricky at first,’ says Parsons, because local fishermen want their turf for fishing and fear that big dollars from visiting fishermen will push them off the river.Some sections will be more exclusive and therefore command higher fees.Other sections will be open to all at lower fees.In Parsons’s words, ’The day of barking at the government is long gone.We want to be part of Posted June 1, 2022 09:29


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