INBO Research Challenges

Challenges in human-wildlife coexistence

During the last COP, the following objective was added to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Target 4: "effectively manage human-wildlife interactions to minimize human-wildlife conflict for coexistence". In this way, international nature policy wants to underline that this is an important concern in the approach to biodiversity.

The IUCN also recently developed guidelines around this. They stress that the road to coexistence is not only about eliminating conflicts between animals and humans. Conflicts between humans, about coexistence and wildlife management, also play a very important role here (see figure).

Schematische voorstelling interactie

Alexandra Zimmerman - IUCN SSC Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force

In Flanders, returning species (wolf, beaver, wild boar) and declining species (partridge, hare, ...) cause recurrent conflicts between different stakeholders.

There is a need for sound scientific evidence to resolve conflicts with certain species, but also conflicts between groups within society over the management of certain species. In recent years, more and more groups in society are getting involved in the debate around management objectives and measures. There are very different views on the relationships between humans and animals sharing the same landscape.

Often, the focus is still on technical solutions to specific conflicts between humans and animals (e.g. population management, preventive measures, ....), even in research. The complex, dynamic underlying processes, which cause conflicts between different interest groups, deserve more attention.


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