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The newsletter is brought to you by IUCN Botswana to facilitate the sharing of information of the environment in Botswana. Please note that news and information is what is brought to our attention by our readers and other sources and is not necessary reflecting all environmental news in Botswana. IUCN is not responsible for the factual correctness of the information. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of IUCN.
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CONSULTATIVE MEETING OF THE SADC ON CLIMATE CHANGE (OCTOBER
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Environment and Land Management Sector (ELMS) in collaboration with IUCN called the first Consultative Meeting of the SADC on climate change in preparation for the upcoming sixth Conference to the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (13-24 November 2000, Den Haag, The Netherlands). The meeting was co-hosted with the Government of Botswana's Department of Meteorological Services (Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication) and funded by Deutshe Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTX) GmbH. Representatives from the governments of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Sounth Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe attended the meeting with representatives from NGOs, international organisations, the private sector and research institutions. The meeting was held in Gaborone, Botswana, 18-20 October 2000 to review the UNFCCC COP-6 agenda and identify areas of common interest on the following topics: Implementation of Articles 4.8 and 4.9 of the Convention; Capacity-building for Developing Countries; the Development of Transfer of Technology; Land use, Land use change and Forestry; and the Clean Development Mechanism. For more information, click here and/or contact IUCN Botswana.
OKAVANGO DELTA IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT THE FIRST MAJOR CONSERVATION
EVENT OF THE MILLENIUM
Amman Congress, IUCN's second World Conservation Congress (held 4-11 October), was the first major conservation event of the new millennium and defined key conservation goals for the new century. The theme of the Congress was "ecospace" - a term that indicates that the protection of the environment is a pre-requisite for the social, economic and even political security of people. About 2,500 IUCN members, commission members and partners from some 140 countries attended, including Botswana's Minister of Lands and Housing, Hon. Jacob Nkate, and representatives from the National Conservation Strategy (Co-ordinating) Agency, Conservation International Okavango Programme, Forestry Association of Botswana, Kalahari Conservation Society, Chobe Wildlife Trust and Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Nkate presented a compelling account on the activities of the Government of Botswana to manage the Okavango Delta wisely. As a direct result of his presentation, IUCN has included the Okavango Delta Management Plan in its Water and Nature Initiative. (IUCN Botswana, 11 October 2000)
For more information on the Amman Congress visit http://www.iucn.org/amman. For more information on the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative visit http://www.iucn.org/themes/wetlands/index.html. See also here or contact IUCN Botswana directly.
POACHING FALLS IN CHOBE NATIONAL PARKS
A wildlife officer at the Chobe Wildlife Park says poaching in the area has gone down in the last 4 years. Four years ago, poaching was a major problem in the Chobe National Park. The poachers mainly targeted big game such as rhinoceros and elephants for trophies. Other animals were killed for meat and skins and birds were captured and sold. (Mmegi/the Reporter, 20 -26 October 2000)
WILD RESOURCE UNDER SIEGE
A newly released TRAFFIC report shows that most wildlife populations outside protected areas in the east and southern Africa Region are being greatly impacted by the illegal killing of wildlife for meat. The two-year study, sponsored by the European Commission, shows that wildlife, traditionally viewed as a dietary supplement, has become a key source of food and legal tender in the drive for human survival in the region. Seven countries (Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) were selected based on their diversity and range of utilisation programmes. (Trade Review, Traffic)
ZAMBEZI BASIN HOME TO 40 MILLION PEOPLE
IUCN Botswana, together with Minister Jacob Nkate, launched the State of the Environment of the Zambezi River Basin 2000 on the 14th of September 2000 at Mokolodi Nature Reserve. The publication and launch was funded by Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida). The publication was prepared as part of the Communicating the Environment Programme (CEP), a southern African partnership of SADC-ELMS, IUCN-The World Conservation Union and SARDC. For more information, contact IUCN Botswana and/or visit http://www.sardc.net/imercsa/zambezi.
DEBATE STILL RAGES ON LIKELY BENEFITS OF VET FENCES
In this the fifth of a six part series on the environmental impact assessment of veterinary fences in Ngamiland, Dan Peake, writes on the importance of the fences to the economics of both Ngamiland and the rest of the country. (Mmegi/The Reporter 13 -19 October 2000, pg13)
WILDLIFE MOVIE SELLS BOTSWANA IN THE US
Botswana's personified wild animals feature film dubbed Whispers: an Elephants tale was for the first time shown to a score of audience in one of New York's theatres in the United States on Oct 10. The film which is 10 months work of Dereck Joubert and his wife Beverely of Wildlife Films in Kasane was shot in and out of the Chobe Area in northern Botswana. (The Midweek Sun, October 25 2000 pg 17)
ADF BOOSTS TOURISM
African Development Foundation (ADF), an organisation which aims to support grassroots groups, is funding a tourism business in the Okavango to the tune of 1 million Pula. The grant will assist Okavango Polers Trust, a community based project, to facilitate income generating opportunities for community members through the eco-tourism business. (The Botswana Guardian, 6 October 2000, p15)
NEW PARK FOR GABORONE WEST
A new recreation area was developed by Somarelang Tikologo and the local Moselewapula Ward Development Committee. The park demonstrates that neglected open spaces in Botswana can be transformed into beautiful areas for recreation. For more information, contact Somarelang Tikologo tel: 313709 or email: email@example.com.
NGO CONFERENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT
The NGO Conference on the Environment was held from the 1-3 of August at the Grand Palm Hotel, the theme of which was "Networking as a means of managing the environment". The conference was organised by KCS and Thusano Lefatsheng, funded by HIVOS through the IUCN NGO Support Programme. Presentations covered six themes developed in the NGO Strategic Environmental Plans which are; environmental education for sustainability, research and monitoring, community based environmental management, environmental agenda, policies and legislation, land and resource tenure and environmental economics. The conference resolved among other things to resuscitate the Environment Liason Group in order to improve networking and established a task force to finalise the NGO Environmental Strategic Plan.
VPR&D FOUNDER RETIRES
Frank W. Taylor, the founding member of Veld Products Research & Development, the Gabane based NGO that promotes veld products for income and food security, has retired from the organistaion. "Working tirelessly and often without pay Frank was the driving force behind the organisation" This was said by the person of VPR&D's board, at a luncheon ceremony in honour of Taylor's retirement. The chairperson noted that Taylor will continue to serve VPR&D in his capacity as a board member and trough his expertise in developing new veld product innovations. In his address, Taylor thanked everyone for their kind words and acknowledged the contributions of present and past staff members of VPR&D. He expressed his desire to make use of his retirement to work even harder to help VPR&D and other organisations realise the potential of veld resources for the benefit of people in rural areas of Botswana.
ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Environmental Journalist of the Year Award launched by Somarelang Tikologo last year at the Communicating the Environment workshop has been awarded to Gideon Nkala. The award aims at recognising and promoting environmental coverage in Botswana's media. The award Ceremony was held at the Grand Palm on August 2nd 2000.
CBNRM DRAFT POLICY
The Ministries of Agriculture and Commerce and Industry with assistance from USAID through Chemonics have been working on a Community Based Natural Resources Management Policy. On the 15th of August. The two ministries jointly hosted a workshop to get views on the draft Policy from NGOs, other Ministries and the Private Sector. The workshop was attended by over 90 participants, some useful comments were made and they are currently being incorporated into the draft policy, in preparation for its submission to Parliament.
SQUATTERS TO FACE MOGAE
Mogoditshane squatters appeal to Government to make land available for them. They argue that many of their applications for land have been long pending at the landboard and question the logic of demolishing their houses when they can be settled somewhere else. (Mmegi/The Reporter, 04-10 August 2000. Pg2)
WOOD HARVESTING TO BE CURBED
Government is contemplating putting a stop to the harvesting of fuelwood.. this position came to surface during the Mid term review of NDP8.On a chapter dealing with environment Minister Nkate made it clear that his ministry was considering putting measures in place to protect the environment, for instance introducing green taxes. (Mmegi/The Reporter 04-10 August pg 6).
LANDFILL HELPS SAFE WASTE DISPOSAL, SAYS NASHA
Nasha officially opened a new sanitary landfill in Francistown where she urged the council to establish the principle of waste recovery, where the polluter pays and that of co-operation with the public in waste management. (Mmegi/The Reporter 04-10 August pg 12).
SOMARELANG TIKOLOGO PETITIONS GOVERNMENT
A petition with over 3000 signatures was handed to Parliament calling for immediate action to address the problem of plastic shopping bags littering Botswana. Mr Jacob Nkate received the petition on behalf of Government. The campaign co-ordinated by Somarelang Tikologo, sought signatures from citizens across the countrywho feel that something has to be done to end the scourge of plastics polluting the environment and harming livestock. (The Botswana Guardian, pg.36)
BOTSWANA IN LIVESTOCK EXPERIMENT
Unease is mounting over the Botswana Government's decision to endorse a controversial and untested electronic national livestock identification system, utilising an intraluminal bolus. It involves inserting an electronic devise down the throat of cattle into its stomach. The system has not been used anywhere in the world other than in an unfinished official trial through the IDEA project in the European Union. (The Botswana Guardian, 4 august 2000)
CONTAMINATION OF ENVIRON INCREASES
Botswana faces an increased threat of environmental contamination as a result of industrial chemicals and pesticides. Despite wide use of chemical Botswana does not have enforced regulations to control the import and export manufacture, use, production and disposal of chemicals. (Botswana Daily News, 23 August 2000. Pg 3)
DIAMONDS THREATEN WILDLIFE
Governments plan to maintain the "pristine environment" of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve may be shattered by the planned diamond mine in Gope. There will be an increase in of the human population around the Gope area, particularly during the construction phase. This marked increase in human population and the related growth of the cash economy will present an increased risk of poaching. Geoflux, a consulting firm which was engaged to do an environmental impact assessment of the mine has already raised fears that the Lephephe - Gope road will result in erosion of the wilderness value of the CKGR by breaking down its remoteness. (The Midweek Sun, 19 July 2000, Pg 1)
RIIC'S WAY OF CONSERVING AND PROTECTING WATER RESOURCES
The Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC) based in Kanye is a nationalappropriate technology centre carrying out research and development in many areas including renewable energy, water lifting, treatment and sanitation, agricultural technologies and building technologies. After construction of its first wetland treatment system, for the Maunbased Thuso Rehabilitation Centre, RIIC is now fully engaged in providing services to institutions or government departments in waste water treatment and reuse. (Mmegi/The Reporter 18 August 2000, Tikatikwe, Pg 2)
NEW REGIONAL NGO THAT WILL FOCUS ON TBNRM REGISTERED
A new regional NGO focusing on transboundary natural resource management has been registered in Botswana. The NGO called Forum for Transboundary Natural Resources (FOTRAN) has a regional focus and is chaired by Prof. Francis Sefe, formerly Head the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Botswana. The vision of FOTRAN is to become a regional and eventually Africa-Wide TBNRM Forum with the mandate to; Initiate and Facilitate Natural Resources Related work that touches on cross-border issues and cross-border development among agencies, communities and governments. FOTRAN has as its focus on issues surrounding the sustainable use of shared water resources, wildlife and pollution as it affects sustainability of these resources. Specifically, areas with shared water resources in the SADC region and other parts of Africa are numerous. Due to the importance of water to human survival, wildlife and ecosystems, FOTRAN will have a bigger focus on issues of shared water resources. For more information contact Samuel Ndegwa Tel: 267 300624, Fax: 267 300624 and email:firstname.lastname@example.org
NGAMI WEAVERS ABANDONING BASKET MAKING:
A Threat to a Traditional Handicraft HeritageNhabe Museum is said to be concerned with the declining rate of basket weaving in Ngamiland. The Acting Director of Nhabe Museum, Mr Duncan Enga, said in an interview on June 6 that many potential weavers have abandoned the basket making industry due to involvement in a variety of community based projects such as drought relief activities. (The Botswana Gazette Wed 14 June 2000) For more information contact Mr Enga, email: email@example.com
KGETSI YA TSIE -HOPE FOR CULTURAL REAWAKENING
Kgetsi Ya Tsie, a collective of women from the Tswapong Hills who have built a business using the areas natural resources, began with five person groups based in nine villages that would collect and process the firstname.lastname@example.org many agricultural and veld products found in Tswapong. These include lerotse to make puddings and jams, thatch grass to make into baskets, phane, dried beans, mosata, a nutritious vegetarian tree meat which are dried and packaged , morula to make jam, nuts and soon natural oils. (The Botswana Gazette, Wed 21 June, 2000. Pg E1) For more information visit the CBNRM website at http://www.cbnrm.bw
COMMUNITIES LIVE OFF NATURE
This article is about CBNRM projects and gives an example of communities in the Chobe enclave who are now beginning to see the value of their natural environment. Since 1993 DWNP has given CECT a quota for wildlife, which they auction to Safari Companies. For the quota between 1999 and 2003, they have signed a five year lease worth P4.2 million. (The Botswana Guardian, Fri June 23 2000, Pg 3)
FIGHTING THE DESERT WITH TREES
June 17 was the sixth anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought. As a signatory Botswana has pledged to do whatever possible to stop and attempt to reverse the effects of desertification. The NCSA and Ministry of Agriculture were marked as agencies to implement the agency. They are currently compiling a report on research conducted throughout the country to determine the rate of desertification. (The Botswana Gazette, Wednesday 28 June 2000, Pg B7)
FENCING OF WESTERN BOUNDARY OF THE NORTHERN TULI GAME RESERVE
Conflicts between wildlife and people are growing in intensity and frequency throughout Africa. The western boundary of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana (which also delineates the boundary of the proposed TFCA) is situated adjacent to a resident rural community. They identified the erection of an effective barrier to prevent the movement of elephant and other species on to the community's arable lands as an urgent priority. The Peace Parks Foundation has subsequently agreed to provide assistance, in collaboration with the Northern Tuli Game Reserve Land Owners Association and the Chase Manhattan Foundation, to fund the erection of a game proof fence (Peace Parks Annual Review 1999).
NATIONAL FORUM ON CBNRM LAUNCHED
NGOs, CBOs, Private Sector, Government and Donors met in Gaborone 30-31 May to launch the National Forum on CBNRM. This initiative is a follow up to the recommendations made at the National Conference on CBNRM held in July 1999. The aim of the forum is to co-ordinate efforts and share information among all the stakeholders in order to foster an enabling environment for CBNRM implementation in Botswana. For more information contact IUCN Botswana (secretariat for the forum), tel/fax: 371 584, email: email@example.com
GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM
World environmental ministers (incl. Botswana's Minister of Lands and Housing) met in Sweden 29-31 May at the first-ever Global Ministerial Environment Forum to prepare for the United Nations Millennium Assembly in September and Rio+10 in 2002. The forum discussed the following three topics: the major environmental challenges in the new millennium, private sector and environment, responsibilities and functions of the society to the environment in a time of globalisation. For more information visit: http://www.unep.org/malmo/
INFORMAL BRIEFING ON GEF
The UNDP-Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Regional Co-ordinator for Biodiversity and International Waters, Dr Niamir-Fuller gave a one day informal briefing 23 May in Gaborone for stakeholders from Government and NGOs. The purpose of the briefing was to increase awareness of the GEF and to discuss project proposals for possible funding by GEF. This was part of a series of meetings on GEF to build capacity in Botswana to draw down more effectively on the global fund.
GOVERNMENT TO INTRODUCE NEW TOURISM POLICY
Government is putting together a tourism policy which will shift the mix of tourists away from campers towards permanent accommodation, increase returns from the tourism sub sector to the communities living in the tourism areas, and ensure that tourism activities are carried out in an ecologically sustainable way. (The Midweek Sun, May 10 2000)
LAUNCHING OF KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was launched by Presidents Festus Mogae and Thabo Mbeki 12 May. For more information visit http://www.gov.bw/tourism/tranfrontier
THIRD MEETING OF DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS IN ENVIRONMENT
The third meeting of the Development Partners in Environment was held in Gaborone 4 May. Development Partners in Environment is a forum of donors and representatives from government, NGOs, the private sector and community based organisations. The purpose of the forum is to discuss major developments on environmental issues, programmes and projects on a technical level in order to promote dialogue, co-operation and co-ordination for the benefit of all Development Partners in Environment in Botswana. For more information contact IUCN Botswana (secretariat for the forum) ), tel/fax: 371 584, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COP 5 TO CBD
The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in Kenya 15-26 May. The meeting was attended by close to 1500 participants representing governments (including Botswana), NGOs, IGOs and indigenous and local community organisations. Key issues for discussion were: a new thematic work programme on conservation of dry and sub-humid land biodiversity; the ecosystems approach; access to genetic resources; alien species; sustainable use as a cross-cutting issue; biodiversity and tourism; incentive measures; the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; progress in implementing the work programmes on agricultural, inland water ecosystem, marine and coastal and forest biodiversity; the Global Taxonomy Initiative; financial resources and mechanism; scientific and technical cooperation and the Clearing-House Mechanism; identification, monitoring and assessment, and indicators; and impact assessment, liability and redress. For more information visit http://biodiv.org/cop5/index.html
15th GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FORUM
A diverse spectrum of people from different sectors and regions of the world, including both government and civil society, met in Kenya 12-14 May (prior to the COP5 to CBD) to address three themes on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): Biodiversity for poverty alleviation, Instruments for access and benefit-sharing from genetic resources and related traditional knowledge systems, and Agricultural biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods: the case of dryland ecosystems. For more information visit http://www.gbf.ch/
COP 11 to CITES
The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was held in Kenya 10-20 April, drawing together some 1400 participants from Contracting Parties (including Botswana), non-party States, inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental organisations. The meeting considered proposals to amend the CITES Appendices and discussed other topics of which ways to improve the implementation of the Convention; financial matters, conservation of and trade in elephants, and trade in traditional medicines such as grapple was of particular interest for Botswana. For more information on the COP 11 to CITES visit http://www.cites.org/CITES/eng/cop/11/outcome.shtml and http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/news/citescop11.htm
WORKSHOP ON WOMEN, ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
The Environmental Heritage Foundation of Botswana Trust hosted a workshop on Women, Environment and Development in Selibe-Phikwe 25-26 May. The objective of the workshop was to integrate women into the mainstream of issues affecting them in regard to their daily encounters with environment and development processes. For more information contact, Environmental Heritage Foundation of Botswana Trust, tel: 314431, fax: 300316, email:email@example.com
CHOBE WETLANDS CONTRIBUTE MILLIONS
A study carried out by IUCN has established that wetlands have a significant value both in terms of the country's national production and people's livelihoods. The study which was carried out in four southern African states including the Chobe-Caprivi region found that the Chobe-Caprivi wetlands contribute an annual income of US$777 000 to the economy of Botswana.
SUNSHINE IN THE OKAVANGO AFTER THE RAINS
The torrential rains that brought such destruction to much of Southern Africa earlier this year have turned Botswana's Okavango Delta into a veritable garden of Eden. Rivers that have been dry for the last 10 years are now flowing, dry season water holes are full and grass species are flourishing. (The Botswana Gazette, Wed 31 May, 2000, Pg.15)
NO EARLY RENEWAL OF IVORY TRADE
The governments of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe have withdrawn their proposals to the CITES conference to be granted annual quotas for ivory sale. The expected vote, on the reopening of ivory trade for the first time since 1989, will therefore not take place. A proposal by Kenya and India was also withdrawn. This proposal called for returning the elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to Appendix I, thus making any future ivory trade less likely. At the last CITES conference in 1997, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe was given permission to make experimental sale of existing ivory stocks, these sales took place in Japan in 1999 and was controlled by the CITES Secretariat. The ivory issue is likely to be revisited at the next CITES conference. (Infoterra, 17 April 2000). For updates on the CITES CoP see: http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/news/citescop11.htm
KCS SENDS COMMUNITY DELEGATION TO CITES TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENT
STAND ON ELEPHANTS
Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS) has made it possible for community members from the Sankuyu Community Trust to attend the CITES Conference to support the Government on the issue regarding a controlled but legal sale of ivory as well as other elephant products. (The Botswana Gazette, 12/4 p. B8)
FLOOD DAMAGE PUT AT US$ 18.3M
The Government has estimated that it will need app. P844 mill. to repair infrastructure damaged by the recent floods. Beside infrastructural damage the floods killed 13 people and left 60.000 homeless in Botswana alone. (Mmegi/The Reporter 14-20 April 2000, p. 31)
OPENING OF THE KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK
The official opening of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park at the 12 May 2000 will be attended by the State Presidents of Botswana and South Africa. The park is the first "peace park" in Africa and the process towards the establishment has been facilitated by Botswana Department of Wildlife, South African National Parks and the Peace Park Foundation. For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org , www.peaceparks.org
BOTSWANA AND UK COLLABORATE ON RANGE PROJECT
The Botswana and British governments agreed to the second phase of the Botswana Range Inventory Monitoring Project (BRIMP). The British government will provide funding and consultation to the Ministry of Agriculture in order to strengthen and improve the management of renewable resources for the benefit of the poor. The goal is to consolidate earlier work on BRIMP which cover issues such as; land degradation, veld fires, impact of drought and the targeting of relief measures and implementation of a pilot community based vegetation monitoring programme. The project will run for two years and cost app. P9.200.000. (Mmegi/The Reporter 14-20 April 2000, p.B2)
NORTHERN TULI GAME RESERVE
The Peace Parks Foundation have raised funds to the communities living near the western boundary of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. The funds are used to erect a game-proof fence to prevent the game from destroying their crops as well as reduce the amount of elephant/human interactions in the area. For more information see: email@example.com , www.peaceparks.org
A FITTING TRIBUTE TO THE WORLD WATER DAY MARCH 22nd
On the 22&23rd of March Water and Sanitary Engineering handed over two projects on rain and grey water catchment to Ipelegeng CJSS in Lobatse and SOS Children's Village in Tlokweng. (Tikatikwe, p.3 in Mmegi/The Reporter 14-20 April 2000)
RECYCLING BEGINS WITH THE YOUTH
Seven schools in Gaborone have started recycling bottles thanks to a project initiated by Somarelang Tikologo/Environmental Watch Botswana. Each school has received three bins and is sorting the glass according to colours. Conclusions from the study are that much more awareness raising is needed concerning separation of waste and that recycling is just one component of waste management. It is also necessary to put emphasis on how to reduce and reuse the resources. (Tikatikwe, p.2 in Mmegi/The Reporter 14-20 April 2000) For more information contact Jane Ryall, Somarelang Tikologo, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ELETRONIC THEATRE IN GABORONE - SAFARI 2000
At Wednesday 22nd of March UB hosted the NASA produced Electronic Theatre in Boipuso Hall. The computer produced production was projected to a 7m*7.5m screen and various examples of the potential of remote sensing was shown to the 250 spectators that attended the event. For more information contact Prof. Sue Ringrose, DRD (S2K National Co-ordinator) email: email@example.com
NGO PLATFORM ON OIL, GAS AND MINING PROJECTS
As the World Bank and IMF meets for their spring meeting NGOs have arranged protests and demonstrations to put pressure on the World Bank to stop financing oil, gas and mining projects. For more information see: http://www.bicusa.org/
TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF MOREMI GAME RESERVE
Gaborone - Due to recent heavy rains many roads in the Moremi Game Reserve and the southern part of the Chobe National Park are impassable. The Department of Wildlife and National Parks has therefore been forced to close all road access into the Moremi Game Reserve until further notice. No vehicles will be permitted to enter the Reserve through Maqwee (South Gate) or Khwai (North Gate). Road access to Savute from Maun has also been closed. Savute remains accessible from Kasane. Anyone who accesses these areas despite the closure does so at their own risk. DWNP does not have any facilities remaining in the Reserve to provide assistance in case of difficulties. Persons who have reservations for Khwai (North Gate), Maqwee (South Gate), Xakanaxa or Third Bridge public campsites are requested to contact the DWNP Reservations Office in Maun, Box 20364 Maun, telephone 661265 or fax 661264. Department of Wildlife and National Parks, PO Box 131, Gaborone, BOTSWANA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 371405, Fax: 312354
HOUSEHOLD WASTE SEPARATION STUDY
A new study is being organised by Somarelang Tikologo and Gaborone City Council to investigate the potential for separating waste at the household level. Households from high, medium and low income groups in Gaborone have been taking part in the research since November last year. The results will emphasise cost savings to the City Council and the business potential for recycling. It will also include an analysis of behaviour patterns towards recycling by the different households taking part. For further information, contact Jane Ryall at Somarelang Tikologo, Tel/fax 313 709, email: email@example.com
BOCONGO - HIVOS WORKSHOP 9-10 March 2000.
The Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organisations, in collaboration with HIVOS, hosted a national workshop on declining donor support to civil society institutions, especially NGOs in Botswana. The workshop attended by more than 40 participants from NGOs and Donors looked at the extent to which donor support is declining in Botswana and came up with strategies that NGOs could use to cope with the problem. For more information about the workshop please contact: Agreement Tamuhla (BOCONGO), Tel: 311319, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BOTSWANA SUBMITS A PROPOSAL ON THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT FOR CONSIDERATION
AT CITES CONFERENCE CONVENING IN APRIL 2000.
Botswana has proposed to amend the current annotation of its elephant population on Appendix II to allow for an annual quota of not more than 12 tonnes of ivory and trade in hides and leather goods. Trade in living animals, and international trade in hunting trophies would also continue as allowed. In February 1999, the CITES Standing Committee agreed that the conditions set by COP of Decision 10.1 Conditions for the resumption of trade in African elephant ivory from populations transferred to Appendix II at the 10th meeting of the conference of the Parties had been met. Ivory Auctions were held with Japanese buyers in April 1999. With the conclusion of this experimental trade, the elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe remain on Appendix II under annotation, but with a zero quota for ivory. No other international commercial trade in raw ivory can take place without the approval of a future COP. (See also, The Botswana Gazette Wednesday 16 February 2000. Pg.17, The Midweek Sun, Wednesday February 16 2000, Pg 2-3)
SOUTHERN AFRICAN FLOOD TOLL MOUNTS AS WAVE ROARS DOWN LIMPOPO
A floodwave roaring down the Limpopo River from South Africa hit Mozambique's Gaza province on Sunday, wreaking more devastation in the wake of the worst flooding in Southern Africa in 50 years. At least 355 people have been killed in Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana this month by floods and by Cyclone Eline, which struck on Tuesday, official figures show. (Botswana Daily News February 29, 2000 No. 40. p4)
TROPICAL CYCLONE FEVER ROCKS BOTSWANA
Botswana has embarked on a 24 hour tropical cyclone watch and the Department of Meteorological services has already issued an alert about the impending threat posed by the cyclone. (Alphaeons Moroke and Bashi Letsididi, The Botswana Guardian Friday February 25 2000 Pg. 2-3.
NO PLANS FOR TRANSFRONTIER RESERVE
Owners of wildlife reserves bordering Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa are interested in establishing a transfrontier wildlife reserve straddling the borders of the three countries. For now however, government has no plans to integrate the wildlife reserves, although the South African Conservation Authorities have also indicated interest in a transfrontier wildlife reserve. (The Botswana Guardian Friday February 25 2000 p22)
SADC PREPARES FOR WORLD WATER FORUM
SADC Water Ministers are preparing for the Second World Water forum scheduled for next month in Haque. It is hoped that the water Ministers will go there with one vision which is 'access to safe water for all'. (Munyaradzi Chenje, The Botswana Guardian Friday February 25 2000 p32-33)
Greenhouse gases are increasing throughout the world, but more especially in industrialised countries. These gases are from burning fossil fuels like petrol and diesel, and from the burning coal at electric power stations. The increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by these fossil fuels are slowly warming up the earth's atmosphere. Slowly but surely, Botswana is getting slightly warmer reveals records of the last 70 years. (Derek Hudson Mmegi/The Reporter 25 February - 03 March 2000 pB14 - B15)
TSODILO SET FOR WORLD HERITAGE STATUS
Tsodilo Hills in Ngamiland, northwestern Botswana has been nominated as a World Heritage Site. The Director of the National Museum, Monuments and Art Gallery said a nomination committee had since been formed to prepare a 'dossier' on the hills, which will be, presented to UNESCO. This is expected to be done before the end of May and the outcome is expected in November 2001. (Ernest Moloi, Mmegi/The Reporter 03-09 March 2000. P13).
RAINS THROW COUNTRY INTO PANIC
Torrential rains have hit the country especially the eastern corridor in southern and central regions of Botswana. The rains, which are said to be the worst in a long time, have resulted in numerous floods which have caused extensive damage to roads, the main railway, dams and people's property and left scores of people homeless, while others are feared dead. Botswana's neighbours, South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland were also hit by torrential rains which left a swathe of destruction in their wake. (Gideon Nkala. Mmegi/The Reporter 11 - 17 February 2000. Vol.17, No.6, p.4)
WORLD WETLANDS DAY - 2 February 2000
The Secretary General of the Convention on Wetlands in his message for World Wetlands Day invites you to make people in your country more fully aware of the treasures that they have in their wetlands already included in the Ramsar List and in those that could be listed. At the same time, do not forget the other wetlands, those which might not qualify for inclusion in the List but which are nonetheless very significant for the people around them. They too deserve to be celebrated - their conservation and sustainable use may well be as important for local communities as is caring for the mega-sites. As in all other aspects of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, peoples involvement is the only good recipe for long lasting solutions.
COMMUNICATING THE ENVIRONMENT WORKSHOP 18 November 1999
Somarelang Tikologo brought together journalist and environmentalists in a workshop on the 18th of November 1999 under the theme Communicating the Environment. This workshop was organised after Somarelang Tikologo and other environmental NGOs raised concern about the low coverage of environmental issues by the local media. Two action points were identified at the workshop as important building blocks for environmental communication, namely; 1) There should be closer networking and communication links between environmental organisations and the media.
2) There is a need for training and capacity building for both the media and environmental organisations. Somarelang Tikologo has been charged with the responsibility of facilitating the implementation of these two actions. The first meeting for all interested stakeholders will be held late February at a date to be announced. For those interested in attending the meeting contact Somarelang Tikologo at: Tel: 313709/580687, Fax: 313709, Email: email@example.com
MOLEPOLOLE RE-ZONING SPARKS ROW
Conflict develops between the residents of Molepolole and the Land Board over homesteads, which were bull, dozed to the ground to make way for construction in an area zoned for development. (Bashi Litsididi, The Botswana Guardian. Friday January 14 2000 p 6-7.)
TOURISM INDUSTRY BREEDS CONFLICT
About key stakeholders in the tourism industry heading for a clash while many Batswana feel they are losing out on the country's third largest government revenue earner. (Prof Malema, Mmegi/The Reporter 17-23 December 1999 Vol 16. No.50)
ILLEGAL DUMPING SUFFOCATES VILLAGE
Residents of Ledumadumane lands in the Kweneng could be forced to abandon their lands and flee with their few surviving livestock to a more serene area. This may happen if Gaborone based commercial and construction companies do not stop their indiscriminate waste disposal, which threatens to turn this once productive area into an ungazzetted dumping site. (Gideon Nkala. Mmegi/The Reporter 21-27 January 2000 Vol 17 No.3. p 4)
WASTE OIL COLLECTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL REHABILITATION SERVICE
About an initiative spearheaded by Shell Oil Botswana through which oil distribution companies in this country have arranged for collection of used oil and its transportation to refineries in South Africa for recycling and or reuse. (Mmegi/The Reporter 24 Dec 1999 - 6 January 2000 Tikatikwe p 2). (Somarelng Tikologo is playing a leading role in this new recycling initiative by co-ordinating the promotion. Funded by the major oil companies in Botswana, ST will ensure that the campaign reaches the appropriate stakeholders and users of waste through a range of media. For more information on this initiative contact ST of Ernest Bokete, Environmental Systems Tel: 582934)
OKAVANGO DELTA ON UNESCO's BIOSPHERE RESERVE LIST
About a meeting attended by Kgosi Tawana on the inclusion of the Okavango delta on the World Biosphere Heritage List. The meeting was organised by an environmental association, Preserve, in conjunction with UNESCO's Man and Biosphere and the Humanity heritage departments. (Mmegi/The Reporter 21-27 January 2000 Vol 17 No. 3 p B20)
KCS TELLS BOTSWANA DELEGATION TO WTO, WHEN YOU SEE TRADE, THINK
. KCS expresses concern that environmental protection and sustainable development are being left behind in a rush to globalise trade. (The Gazette Wednesday 24 November, 1999 p B3, The Midweek Sun Wednesday Nov 24 1999 p 18 and The Botswana Guardian Friday November 26 1999 p 24)
KENYA CALLS FOR TOTAL BAN OF IVORY TRADE
Kenya calls for a total ban on ivory trade as an advisor to the Kenya Wildlife Services argues that the limited lifting of the world-wide ban is encouraging illegal poaching of Africa's elephants. (Botswana Gazette. Wednesday 24 November 1999 p B9)
MINE OF DEATH
There is a conspiracy of silence involving big business, political interests and millions of Pula evolving around the Selebi Phikwe life threatening pollution crisis. (Outsa Mokone. In The Botswana Guardian Friday December 3 1999 p 3)
NASHA CALLS FOR A GREEN REPORTAGE
Minister of Local Government criticises journalists for not giving women, people with disability and the environment fair coverage. The minister made this statement at a one day seminar organised by Somarelang Tikologo for journalists and environmentalists. (Mmegi/The Reporter 26 November 02 December 1999 p 32 Vol 16 No.47)
CO-ORDINATION NEEDED SAYS MARUAPULA.. Environmental Heritage Foundation calls for co-ordination of environmental programmes and action among organisations involved. (Mmegi/The Reporter 26 November 02 December 1999 Vol.16. No.47 p 40)
IUCN Botswana is part of the international membership organisation,
IUCN-The World Conservation Union, which brings together states,
governments and a diverse range of NGOs in a global partnership
concerned with environmental issues. The IUCN Botswana Programme
started in 1984 in connection with its involvement in preparing
the National Conservation Strategy for Botswana. Other key activities
in Botswana include an independent review of the Southern Okavango
Integrated Development Project, prepare feasibility study for
conducting a State of the Environment Review, prepare management
plans for national parks, and formulate policy on Environmental
Impact Assessment. Present major activities include the IUCN Botswana
NGO Support Programme, CBNRM Support Programme (joint SNV/IUCN),
Community Outreach Programme (with ART and Theatre for Africa)
and the formulation of a Wetlands Policy and Strategy for Botswana
(with Ecosurv for GoB). For informations visit our site www.iucnbot.bw
Greetings from IUCN Botswana