Publication: Rural livelihoods, community-based conservation, and human–wildlife conflict: Scope for synergies?


Halting biodiversity loss is a major contemporary challenge. Nature protection can help conserve biodiversity, but increasing wildlife numbers inside protected areas and shrinking habitats intensify interactions between humans and wildlife, potentially causing human–wildlife conflict (HWC). Contemporary narratives of HWC highlight detrimental effects on households’ socioeconomic outcomes. Despite a wealth of literature on HWC, many studies remain descriptive and little inferential evidence has been provided. Here we identify the determinants and effects of reported HWC on household outcomes using spatial predictors and an original farm-household dataset collected in Namibia’s share of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. In addition to dependence on agriculture, we find that community-based conservation, the share of a community’s area set aside for conservation, and habitat connectivity are key drivers of HWC. Contrary to contemporary narratives of HWC, we find that reported conflicts did not have strong negative effects on household income and livelihood diversity. Conversely, community-based wildlife conservation increases income and livelihood diversity among participating households. It is, however, also associated with food insecurity concerns. Such concerns may be driven by comparatively higher restrictions related to land use planning and zoning that constrain productive land uses, such as agriculture. Our findings suggest that community-based conservation can create development synergies for households in favorable environments, despite increasing HWC risks. However, potential trade-offs including non-material costs warrant further research.

Meyer, M, Börner, J, 2022, Rural livelihoods, community-based conservation, and human-wildlife conflict: Scope for synergies?Biological Conservation, Volume 272, DOI

More CRC News

Kilombero Valley in Tanzania

Francis Ching’ota and Jonathan Jackson on Broadening Participation in Research Through Building Sustainable Relationships and Disseminating Knowledge

In their latest publication titled “Maono ya Bonde la Kilombero, Tanzania: Historia za Maendeleo Yake”, Francis Ching’ota, an Assistant Lecturer from the National Institute of ...
Read More »
Poster for a public lecture hosted by the CRC Future Rural Africa on 18 December 2023

CRC-TRR Public Lecture: Asebe Debelo

Mon | December 18, 2023 | 16:00 – 17:30  CET We are excited for the next volume of the Future Rural Africa Public Lectures Series. ...
Read More »
The picture shows two hippos.

Publication: Regional Resilience and Social-Ecological Systems – the Impact of COVID-19 on Community Conservation in Namibia

By Linus Kalvelage, Project C01 Future in Chains and Lars Lüder, University of Cologne. ABSTRACT The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected wildlife areas in Namibia, where ...
Read More »
Farming in Kenya

Publication: Cooperative membership and exposure to role models – Implications for income and asset aspirations

By Martin-Paul Jr. Tabe-Ojong, Thomas Heckelei, Kathy Baylis of CRC-TRR Future Rural Africa Project B01 “Invasive Futures” and Sebastian Rasch (University of Bonn). Abstract Although ...
Read More »
Cover image with the logo of the crc future rural africa & the logos of the uni cologne, uni bonn, and DFG

Upcoming Events Promoting Gender Equality and Diversity at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne

University of Bonn: Workshop Discussions A total of six workshop discussions will take place as part of the project. They are aimed at all students, ...
Read More »
Scroll to Top