Convened by the Okavango River Basin Water Commission, the
Okavango Delta Management Plan Project, the IUCN-World Conservation
Union and the Every River has its People Project.
Wednesday 23 August 2006 from 13:30 - 17:00 PM
“FLOWING UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM” is an afternoon
seminar where everyone is invited to join a discussion of
high-level policy makers from Angola, Botswana and Namibia
on the fate of the River they share.
The Okavango River has given birth to a collaborative and
dynamic form of governance amongst the three countries. Like
263 other rivers worldwide, the Okavango flows across borders
of sovereign states. Each state needs the Okavango’s water
resources. Each has comparative advantages in capacity, resources,
knowledge, or geography. None can unilaterally develop water
– for power, agriculture, or domestic use – without affecting
upstream or downstream neighbours.
So how did three nations speaking many different languages,
with widely disparate backgrounds and a limited collaborative
history, learn to work together?
The Okavango countries are starting with distinct, specific
and quantifiable projects that generate more light than heat,
and more trust than tension paving the way in experience and
information for basin-wide joint management. Currently the
Okavango River Basin Water Commission is directing a project
on information sharing to capitalize on the comparative advantages
of the three countries; a community based project is enabling
communities to have a say in management, and the Government
of Botswana through the Okavango Delta Management Plan Project
is able to share its experience of managing the world’s biggest
Ramsar site with upstream countries.
What other such initiatives could further understanding, transfer
benefits and promote better management?
Could the expertise of a downstream country flow upstream
and vice versa? How will it work? What’s missing? What tangible
or political benefits can we expect?
Session I will introduce the Okavango River
Basin Water Commission and the Basin by OKACOM Commissioners
and Ministers from Botswana, Namibia and Angola.
Session II will present and discuss collaborative
initiatives in the Okavango River Basin (OKACOM projects,
Okavango Delta Management Plan, Every River has its People).
Session III will discuss the way forward
in terms of collaborative projects, lessons for future regional
collaboration and the role of communication and coordination
in promoting basin-wide cooperation.
Speakers (in order of appearence):
M. Gomes da Silva - OKACOM Commissioner
Hon. Minister of Energy
and Water, Angola, Mr. Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos
Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Botswana,
Mr. Charles Tibone
Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Water and
Forestry, Namibia, Dr. Nickey Iyambo
Mr. Gabaake Gabaake -
OKACOM Commissioner (Botswana) Mr. Piet Heyns - OKACOM Commissioner
(Namibia) Mr. Isidro Pinheiro - OKACOM Commissioner (Angola)
Ms. Portia Segomelo - ODMP Project Coordinator (Botswana)
Mr. Montshiwa Montshiwa - ERP Project Manager (Okavango River
Ambassador Ndeutapo Amagulu - OKACOM Commissioner (Namibia)
Facilitator: Ms. Tabeth Matiza-Chiuta (IUCN
-The World Conservation Union)
Panel members (some of the speakers will
also sit in the panel):
Mr. John Scanlon (Commissioner-Murray-Darling River Basin Commission)
Mr. Luis De Almeida (Secretariat-Southern African Development Community)
Dr. Peter Bridgewater (Secretary General - Ramsar Convention)
Ms. Masego Madzwamuse (IUCN - The World Conservation Union)
Rapporteur: Mr. Anton Earle, Director of
the African Centre for Water Research
Where: World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden
Information on this Seminar: OKACOM Interim
Secretariat - email@example.com
Okavango Delta Management Plan Project Secretariat
IUCN - The World Conservation Union - firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about the World Water Week: www.worldwaterweek.org
A full description of the seminar is found here.
Botswana Development and Environment Forum
being launched in October
Find more information about the Forum here.
IUCN President is visiting Botswana in October 2006