To ensure the long-term survival of the lion (Panthera leo), the Namibian Lion Trust (Reg#:T298/2019) has developed three interdependant programmes to support the recovery, survival and range-wide expansion of this Big Cat species, namely For Lions – For Life – For Our Future.
Lions are not the only species affected by the severe drought and rising temperatures. In the Kunene Region, livestock farmers share their habitat with lion, as well as with other conflict species such as hyaena, leopard, cheetah and elephant.
Farming communities often live in extreme poverty and they struggle to survive in these harsh conditions. For survival, they depend mainly on their livestock; when carnivores attack their domestic animals, their main source of income is lost. The farmers feel threatened by these predators and often regard the large carnivore species as ‘problem’ animals. The fear and negative stereotyping of lions makes living alongside them a major challenge.
The Namibian Lion Trust and other conservation initiatives, recognise these obstacles and subsequent social tensions. The pride and strength of a farming community is based on the number and quality of their livestock; when a lion kills domestic stock, the farmer loses a significant amount of monetary income, as well as status within the community. Minimizing the persecution of lions can only be achieved if the farmers are uplifted out of poverty. Through guidance, advice and education, the communities are encouraged to consider more effective farming methods and to refrain from immediate retaliation.
Our programme, FOR LIFE, supports farming communities, families and individuals, encouraging an adaptive approach to livelihoods.