According to the 2003 IUCN World Parks Congress, human-wildlife conflict occurs when wildlife requirements encroach on those of human populations, with costs both to residents and wild animals (IUCN, 2005). Human-wildlife conflict has existed for as long as humans and wild animals have shared the same landscapes and resources. Human-wildlife conflict does not occur only in Africa. Nowadays human-wildlife conflict exists in one form or another all over the world. Conflict between humans and crocodiles, for example, has been reported from 33 countries spanning the tropics and subtropics, and the problem probably exists in many more. While all continents and countries, whether developed or not, are affected by human-wildlife conflict, agropastoralists in developing countries are altogether more vulnerable than the people of developed nations.
Together with CIRAD, WWF, CAMPFIRE and other partners, FAO has produced a human-wildlife conflict toolkit. Currently being tested in southern Africa, the toolkit provides effective measures to help resolve, prevent and mitigate the growing problem of conflict between humans and wild animals. It is designed not only to help protect people, their livestock and crops from animals but, just as important, to safeguard animals from people. It includes policies, strategies and practical tips to make increasingly close cohabitation safer for everyone. As a general strategy, the toolkit emphasizes conflict prevention through advance land-use planning. Crops, for example, should be planted where they are less accessible to problem animals, with wildlife corridors allowing animals to move to and from water sources, and hard contact with riverine and hill-edge vegetation should be avoided as much as possible.