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‘Wildlife Bill must go beyond compensating victims’

Local News
Sithembiso Nyoni

Participants at a recent Accountability Lab Zimbabwe (ALZ) workshop want the Parks and Wildlife Amendment Bill to go beyond compensating victims of human-wildlife conflicts.

The Bill will amend the Parks and Wildlife Act.

It was read for the first time in Parliament last week.

ALZ held a two-day capacity building workshop with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment last week in Kadoma to discuss the Bill and other matters.

In the report compiled after the ALZ workshop, participants said while the Bill provides for compensation to victims of human-wildlife conflict, the fund should be expanded to address the well-being wheel whose components are spiritual, physical, financial, occupational, intellectual, environmental, social and emotional.

In May, Environment, Climate and Wildlife minister Sithembiso Nyoni told Parliament that government was in the process of establishing a human-wildlife conflict relief fund.

Nyoni, however, said there would be no compensation for dead victims.

The Parks Authority has been struggling to compensate victims of wildlife attacks despite the government having approved a Human Wildlife Conflict Relief Fund to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflicts in 2022.

The report said the Bill should establish a nexus between parks, wildlife, climate change and environmental protection such as forest protection and carbon sequestration, among others.

Participants said wildlife and parks management is an accountability and transparency issue and the Bill should consider dimensions of accountability that include processes and linkages with other actors or laws, parks and wildlife management agency, information or data sharing, participation and the engineering of the Bill.

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