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Samuel Kiti Lewa - PhD Candidate, Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental studies, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Patrick Maluki - Lecturer, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Vibeke Vindevov - Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Dr. Ibrahim Farah - Head, Somali Academy, Somalia


It is imperative to note that there exists a set of global trends which contributes to the exacerbation of human-wildlife conflict. These are categorized as human population growth, distance from households to forest boundary, land use and cover transformation, species’ habitat loss, habitat degradation, forest fragmentation, road networks, infrastructure development, increasing interest in access to nature reserves and ecotourism. The overall objective of the study was to investigate the root causes of human wildlife conflicts. Most studies on conflict resolution; Transformation, management and reconciliation have been based on human-human basis. No much research has been carried out on the impact of alternative dispute resolution methods in managing human wildlife conflict for sustainable development. Since attaining independence, Kenya had not documented its policy on the said thematic area until 2005 when it promulgated its Kenya forest services Act. The same was followed up by the Kenya wildlife services Act (2011) and the National Environmental Act (2013). However, these enactments are general and do not postulate specific policies on human – wildlife conflict resolution aspects. The matter has been left to legal mechanisms which include litigation involving courts. Such mechanisms have not helped resolving conflicts between humans and the wildlife as cases continue to accelerate resulting into loss of both humans, wildlife and property. The study envisaged to answer the following research questions: What are the root causes of Human-Wildlife conflicts? The study adopts Natural Law and environmental democracy theory as promulgated by J.M.Finnis. The study postulated litigation methods were most suitable for the resolution of Human-wildlife conflicts: That inadequate Human- wildlife Resolution method are responsible for escalation of the conflicts and that Community Based Natural Resource Management Mechanisms (CBNRM) offer the most suitable ADR method for human- wildlife conflict resolution. The study employed the mixed method approach. Both primary and secondary data was collected and analyzed. Multistage sampling was used by the study. Data was collected based on 400 households, questionnaires, Key informants, interviews, Focus Group Discussions (FDGs) and researcher field observations. The study found that that logging has been rampant given that local communities use timber for building materials, use firewood for cooking, use logs for charcoal and also for woodcarvings. This is pointer to the fact that there is deforestation, which threatens forest degradation. This further threatens lack of carbon sequestration, which leads to climate change phenomena. The study further established that Poverty plays a very big role in driving human wildlife conflict at Arabuko Sosoke forest buffer zone. Poverty has cause and effect preposition in that it causes malnutrition, disease and despondency. Such despondency leads to deforestation, which further causes soil erosion which culminates into land degradation and drought. The study also concluded that causes were perceptions, cultural norms, beliefs and close proximity to the forest boundary. The study recommends intensive local residents ‘participation in human-wildlife conflict management. It further recommends use of non-destructive methods in managing the forest resource and equitable benefit sharing and compensation schemes to the local populations in a bid to enlist their support for conservation efforts.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)