Kenya elephants Erik Jepson/Flickr

Pagar yang Baik Melindungi Spesies

NAIROBI – Negara-negara di Afrika seringkali dikritik karena gagal mengatasi tantangan-tantangan lingkungan hidup. Para pengamat sering mengutip terjadinya penurunan luas habitat sehubungan dengan pertumbuhan populasi, degradasi lahan, dan industrialisasi. Lalu ada satu tuduhan yang paling sering diungkapkan: bahwa kenaikan perburuan liar membuat spesies seperti gajah dan badak punah.

Meskipun demikian, di Kenya, program konservasi yang inovatif dan mendalam sedang dilakukan. Dimulai di pegunungan Aberdare di pusat Kenya, “Rhino Ark,” awalnya dibentuk untuk melindungi badak hitam yang hampir punah dari para pemburu yang merusak, dan didukung oleh orang-orang yang dulunya mungkin menentang pendiriannya: komunitas lokal di beberapa daerah pertanian paling produktif di negara ini.

Pada tahun 1988, para ahli konservasi memutuskan akan membiayai dan membuat sebuah pagar listrik untuk melindungi area Taman Nasional Aberdare yang berbatasan dengan lahan pertanian skala kecil. Pagar tersebut dirancang untuk menghindari penyusupan dari populasi manusia dan berkurangnya habitat taman nasional tersebut. Tapi pagar ini juga melindungi para petani yang tanamannya sering dirusak oleh gajah atau satwa liar lainnya yang menyerang lahan mereka. Para petani lokal menyambut baik inisiatif ini, yang mempengaruhi keputusan mereka untuk menambah panjang pagar untuk mengelilingi keseluruhan perimeter di kawasan Aberdare.  

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