HISTORIC FIRST FOR PREDATION MANAGEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
A single document containing detailed and current insight and knowledge into the complex situation of predation management has been finalized and was launched at the Nelson Mandela University on 16 November 2018.
In this historic first (nationally and globally), the Scientific Assessment for Livestock Predation and its Management in South Africa, will form the basis of contemplating policy development and will strengthen Government’s resolve to develop evidence-based policy and to recognize that in many complex situations, such as where there is predation on livestock, there is no silver bullet solution.
The partnership of Government, industry, stakeholders and leading researchers emerged to resource and formulate the Scientific Assessment and shows the strong commitment to address the conflicts around livestock predation management.
During this event, Prof. Graham Kerley of Nelson Mandela University provided an overview of the assessment and felt assured that the document will contribute towards reducing conflict as well as sustaining both agricultural production and biodiversity.
Sipiwo Makinana representing the wool industry highlighted the plights of emerging livestock farmers on predation and acknowledged the outcome of the assessment that commercial and communal livestock farmers face similar predation challenges.
Guillau du Toit, chairman of the Predation management forum (PMF) welcomed the assessment and referred to the chapter on policy and recommendations to government as the most essential part of the study as regulations and legislation, which impact the production practices of livestock and wildlife ranching producers, need an overhaul. He thanked Prof. Graham Kerley and his team for the inclusivity of the process and the involvement of a magnitude of researchers, authors and reviewers.
The implications of the findings for Government were welcomed by both the Department for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). Mr. Joe Kgobokoe representing DAFF and Ms. Mancotywa from DEA acknowledged the requirement of both a strategic national research programme to provide evidence for policy development as well as closer cooperation between policy developers, livestock managers / farmers and researchers.
As this book is aimed at helping agricultural and conservation policymakers and managers to arrive at improved approaches for reducing livestock predation, while at the same time contributing to the conservation of our natural predators, the Predation Management Forum would like to thank all the roleplayers who made the realization of the publication possible.
PRED SA OUTCOMES: Eyes on better leadership and policy in predation management
The first scientific assessment of predation on livestock in South Africa (Pred SA) is almost complete. The assessment, which started with fundraising six years ago, and which was well underway by 2016, is a first of its kind globally, and it is exciting to be able to claim it as a South African product.
SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT FOR PREDATORS COMPLETED !
During the NWGA national congress mid June 2018, Prof. Graham Kerley, Nelson Mandel University announced that the scientific assessment for livestock predation and its management in South Africa has been completed and awaiting the signatures of both ministers for Environmental Affairs and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, before it can be printed and launched. He elaborated on the content of the assessment and highlighted what the 9 chapters consist of.
The outcomes of the assessment are the following:
- Comprehensive assessment is a global first. When speaking to international agencies, they are able to ascertain that farmers are responsible in taking a scientific and robust approach in managing predators.
- Economic impacts may be relatively small in terms of GDP, but high at the individual farmer scale, with impacts on the rural economy, employment and food security.
- Commercial and communal livestock farmers face similar predation challenges
- There is no simple solution to managing livestock predation, therefore there is no silver bullet.
- Legislation and regulations need an overhaul. It is important to note that the book is policy informative and not policy prescriptive and that members need to engage with policy makers.
- Adaptive management approach needed to better the use of existing information
- Collaborative relationship between livestock managers, researchers and policy makers
The need for and value of a scientific assessment
Science can and must provide valid inputs into the challenges and policy needs of livestock predation management in South Africa through the PredSA scientific assessment process. Furthermore, it is predicted that PredSA will give a much needed boost to building trans disciplinary research capacity and raise the standards of research on livestock predation and management in South Africa. Click here for 3-page Commentary paper.