The true platform for effective wildlife conservation is a consensus amongst communities that surround parks or coexist with forests and reserves. Only understanding the value and importance of these resources to the country as a whole and to the communities themselves can result in such a consensus. BHR is part of “the sharp end of the stick” surveilling, identifying and interdicting poachers. With poaching reaching crisis levels, such operations are urgently required. But it’s also urgent that work continues to bring the affected communities into a position of support and understanding.
Schools are needed. Projects to bring work and income such as eco-tourism. Activists and NGOs are developing models for the coexistence of pastoralism and wildlife reminiscent of traditional culture but marketing the pastoralist’s meat into modern meat processing operations.
The ESO approach to community based efforts is to partner with like-minded NGOs to design and direct projects into these areas that will effectively bring solutions to benefit those communities. ESO will not be a front line operation in this regard, but a partner to the right sort of projects being carried out in the right communities.