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Coexistence plans

Inspiring local communities to rethink their role in the management of a wild territory is key to the project. By encouraging local communities to consider wild animals as a collective responsibility, the bear smart community approach offers some guidance to local landowners (which are mostly local municipalities) to develop so called “coexistence plans” which can map out potential areas of conflict and work alongside the community to prevent and mitigate issues. Each action plan has to be designed based on the needs of the community and can be adapted to increase food availability outside human settlements and/or reduce trophic sources inside rural or urban areas. Some of the action may include pruning abandoned fruit trees in nature to create some food belts; rethinking the garbage collection system by installing bear proof bins; or carefully installing (and maintaining) electric fencing which can have an impact of the psychology of the bear which then associates a farmed field with some kind of barrier. While all these measures may seem simple, they can have a huge impact on the management of the wild territory if adequately performed year after year.