On Friday 13th November 2020 WAPFSA members Pete Oxford, Jenni Trenthowen Lorraine Hollway and Stefania Falcon attended a meeting organised by Dr Baard, of Cape Nature by the authority of Honourable Minister of Local Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Mr Anton Bredell.
The meeting was chaired by Dr Baard, members of the Baboon Technical Team and their associates which included the City of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope SPCA were also in attendance as were representatives from the Overstrand Municipality and the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries.
This meeting was in response to a request by WAPFSA, who in an open letter to the Minister on the 25th of August 2020, called for a workshop to revise outdated, ineffective, unethical guidelines for the management of baboons in the Western Cape and to initiate discussions about alternatives to the current baboon management plan.
WAPFSA members used this preliminary meeting to demonstrate the need for open discussion and that through participative inclusion of baboon advocacy and action groups successful change can be negotiated and implemented.
“It is our contention that the focus of overall baboon management must move toward changing human behaviour in effective ways so that there is less criminalisation of baboons and more accountability in human occupied spaces.“
In line with COVID_19 specified regulations, four members of WAPSFA attended this preliminary meeting where three members delivered their own presentations.
Lorraine Holloway – Baboons of the South
PRESENTATION: Changing human behaviour and moving baboon management to a state of open and transparent communication between all stakeholders.
INTRODUCTION: Baboon management should be an inclusive working enterprise between all stakeholders rather than an unwelcome burden managed solely by the Authorities. The main objectives of this discussion are to focus attention on the lack of openness and transparency around baboon management and to propose the formation of a TASK TEAM to deal proactively with the issues identified below. It may well require a review of the structure of the BTT, its role and membership. A question that also needs to be pursued is whether consideration should be given to the management of troops by location taking into consideration the challenges in each location
Jenni Trethowan – Baboon Matters
PRESENTATION: Baboon Management – a science based project.
How could a broader range of science reduce the conflict between humans and baboons, leading to a better management of the interface?
Using extracts from the following publications we can see that there is a need for better engagement of humans through more effective education, waste management and life style choices, how can this be achieved if the only science used to determine the success of the project is pure zoology?
Comments on Published papers: Management of Commensal Baboons in Saudi-Arabia. Sylvain Biquand, Ahmed Boug, Véronique Guyot-Biquand, Jean-Pierre Gautier / Advancing best practices for aversion conditioning (humane hazing) to mitigate human–coyote conflicts in urban areas. / Lesley Sampson Book: Rock, Water, Life – Prof L GreenDirect communication: Prof. S. Strum & Dr. J Goodall
Pete Oxford – Betty’s Bay Baboon Action Group
Can contracts between municipalities and service providers operate within the CapeNature approved guidelines if there is a “one size fits all” approach to baboon management?
Each locality and baboon troop have specific criteria and culture; we need to show an open and adaptive approach to providing variation of management strategies for differing regions.
Stefania Falcon – The EMS Foundation
The EMS Foundation representative and the co-ordinator for Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa.
The EMS Foundation prepared a working document which was emailed to the members of WAPFSA and to the offices of Cape Nature, the organiser of this meeting , the offices of the Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde, Honourable Minister of Local Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Mr Anton Bredell will also receive a copy.
It is important to make note the following important points in the light of transparency. The subject of capturing and release of the baboon known SK11/ Kataza was not allowed to be discussed. The City of Cape Town representatives were not allowed to comment at the meeting. The appointed baboon management service providers, Human Wildlife Services and NCC Environmental Services were not in attendance. It is also important to note that the representative from the University of Cape Town, Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa, was advised not to attend the meeting. The other member of the BTT, SanParks were not in attendance.
Image Credit: SK11 release on 12th November 2020 NCC Environmental Services
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