Human-elephant conflict: Lee White determined to mitigate the crisis (Gabon)


Stevie Mounombou, Gabon Review

Date Published

Translated from the French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for the French original.
See link for photo.

Scalded by the ongoing human-elephant conflict in Gabon, the Minister of Water and Forests wants to mitigate this crisis, if not to contain it. In a recent tweet, Lee White returned to the need to build electric barriers while looking for other solutions to limit this conflict that is causing several victims across the country. 12,000 complaints related to the destruction of food crops, following the action of elephants, were registered between 2016 and 2020.

“We risk losing the support of the Gabonese people for conservation. It is crucial that we tackle this crisis, by building fences and looking for other solutions,” the Minister of Water and Forests posted on Twitter on 28 january. In Gabon, the human-elephant conflict is fostered by poaching, uncontrolled logging and climate change and generates aggression, injury and loss of life.

This provokes both the transhumance of the populations and the demands of the latter, especially on the eternal question of insecurity and the occupation of arable land by pachyderms. Added to this is the destruction of food crops and other property, having a significant impact on agricultural development.

During the “National Conference on the Management of the Human-Elephant Conflict”, from 15 to 17 December 2021 in Libreville, the Minister of Water and Forests announced that Space for Giants, a Kenyan organization dedicated to conservation, has secured funding of at least 3 billion FCFA for the construction of electric barriers in 2022. Since 2016, this technique has been used by the government for the resolution of the human-elephant conflict.