The Use of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms in resolving human-wildlife conflicts in Kenya
Mwenda, Tevin Gitonga
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Human-wildlife conflicts are not adequately addressed in the current legal framework. This is because the current legal framework mainly relies on litigation, compensation and killing of animals to resolve human-wildlife conflicts. The problem with these forms of resolving conflicts is that they do not achieve any form of restorative justice. In addition to this, they create a rift between the involved parties and end up affecting wildlife conservation efforts. This has created a need to come up with alternative methods of resolving human wildlife conflict. Since most human-wildlife conflicts occur in areas which border community land. The most appropriate method to resolve disputes would appear to be the use of Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms. The Constitution of Kenya 2010 under article 159 recognizes Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanism as a method of resolving conflicts. The constitution recognizes the benefits of using these methods to resolve conflicts. The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 contains provisions that allow for the formation of wildlife associations. These associations are formed by the community. One of the purposes of this associations is to resolve Human-wildlife conflicts. This study found out that if this association adopt Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanism to resolve human-wildlife conflict, they will promote restorative justice. It did this by first looking at the current legal framework governing Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Kenya. It then looked at the current legal framework used in resolving human-wildlife conflict. In addition, it then looked at the viability of using TDRMs in resolving human-wildlife conflict. The study elaborated on how TDRMs can be used to resolve human-wildlife conflict. It contends that, this can be done by the wildlife associations including the people in charge of resolving disputes in communities in the associations to handle any cases of human-wildlife conflicts that touch on the community.