Kenya elephants Erik Jepson/Flickr

Recinzioni per salvare le specie a rischio

NAIROBI – I paesi africani sono spesso criticati per la loro incapacità di far fronte alle sfide ambientali. In molti casi, gli osservatori denunciano una perdita di habitat a fronte della crescita della popolazione, del degrado del suolo e dell'industrializzazione; tuttavia, l’accusa più frequente è che un aumento del bracconaggio sta mettendo a repentaglio alcune specie, tra cui gli elefanti e i rinoceronti.

In Kenya, però, è in corso un innovativo e vasto progetto di conservazione ambientale. Iniziato presso gli Aberdare, una catena montuosa nella parte centrale del paese, il progetto “Rhino Ark” – originariamente concepito per proteggere il rinoceronte nero, un esemplare ad alto rischio di estinzione, dalle devastazioni dei bracconieri – è sostenuto da quelle stesse persone che avrebbero potuto osteggiarlo: le comunità locali ubicate in alcune delle zone agricole più produttive del paese.

Nel 1988, alcuni ambientalisti decisero di finanziare e costruire una recinzione elettrificata allo scopo di proteggere un'area del Parco Nazionale di Aberdare confinante con alcune piccole aziende agricole. La recinzione doveva servire a evitare le intrusioni dell’uomo e il degrado dell'habitat del parco. Essa, però, proteggeva anche gli agricoltori, le cui colture venivano regolarmente distrutte da elefanti predatori e altra fauna selvatica. Gli agricoltori locali accolsero con favore l'iniziativa, e questo influenzò la decisione di ampliare la recinzione fino a includere l’intero perimetro della catena degli Aberdare.

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