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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume VI, Issue XI, November 2022|ISSN 2454-6186

Guava Forests and Other Wild Fruits: A Panacea to Human-Wildlife Conflict, Deforestation and Climate Change in Zimbabwe’s Rusape – Matsika Area.

 Mandevere Benjamin: PhD
Environmental Management, University of South Africa (UNISA), Zimbabwe

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The objective of the study was to examine and explain the role of wild Guava tree in the periphery of cultivated communal land of Matsika area of Rusape, Zimbabwe in protecting crops and preserving forests. Interviews and field observations were employed as data gathering tools. Secondary data from literature and other records were also consulted. Findings revealed that local people preserve trees on the periphery of their fields to ensure that the Guava fruits and other wild fruit trees provide food to wild animals that destroy their crops. This forms a sustainable forest management system and an almost absolute solution to the human wildlife conflict as well as deforestation. During the rain season when baboons and monkeys are caught between the crops in the fields and the buffer of the guavas forest at the periphery of the fields, the crops are protected. The only available solution to ensuring a good harvest by farmers is by ensuring that the guava and other fruit trees are not cut or burnt as these provide the much-needed food for baboons, monkeys as well as villagers. This dual solution to deforestation and human wildlife conflict cannot be underestimated. For the good of their crops villagers go a long way in ensuring that every fruit tree around their arable land is protected and should not for any reason be cut or burnt. This in a nutshell has contributed significantly to the restoration of forest and adaptation to climate change. Forests are critical to the survival of humanity and the regulation of climate. It is therefore recommended that there be public private partnership (PPP) in preserving forests. That environmental and forest management institution educate the public on the use of alternative sources of energy and spare forest at all societal levels.

Key Words: Guavas, Forests, Wildfruits, Panacea, Human, Wildlife, Conflict, Deforestation, Climate, Change, Zimbabwe, Rusape, Matsika

I. INTRODUCTION

The ever-increasing population, unemployment and the demand for food has seen continuous deforestation in most rural areas of Zimbabwe as people expand their arable land to enhance food security as enshrined by goal number 2 of the sustainable development goals for society. The objective of this study was to examine and explain the role of wild guava trees (Psidium guajava) in the periphery of cultivated communal lands of Matsika area of Rusape, Zimbabwe in protecting crops and preserving forests as well as identifying the role played by local guava forests in reducing human wildlife conflict and protecting of crops from baboons and their role in combating deforestation thus,