ENVIRONMENT BOTSWANA NEWS Archive



Environment Botswana News Archive is a collection of the News chapters appearing in the previous monthly Environment Botswana Newsletters (News from newsletters published in 2003 only).

Archive 2002

Archive 2001

Archive 2000

 

Please note that the contact details in these pages are not being updated!

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.

Archive 2003

  • November - December 2003
  • September-October 2003
  • July-August 2003
  • June 2003
  • May 2003
  • (no newsletter in April 2003)
  • March 2003
  • February 2003
  • January 2003
  • Click here to go to the latest 'Environment Botswana News'.


    November - December 2003 NEWS

    CBNRM SUPPORT PROGRAMME PHASE I CLOSING

    As most of you might be aware of the CBNRM Support Programme Phase 1 jointly managed by SNV and IUCN and funded by SNV and Hivos has come to an end. Although the programme officially ends on the 31st December 2003, on the 16th of December the CBNRM Support Programme Adviser, Nico Rozemeijer, took his flight back home to the Netherlands. We will always remember Nico as an extraordinary colleague and an incredible professional who we owe many of the contributions and improvements that CBNRM has seen in Botswana in the past few years. We all wish him well in his life and hope he will find his way through the "European jungle" as much as he had found his way in the "desert" of Botswana. Good luck from Botswana and "tsamaya sentle".

    (IUCN, December 2003)

    IUCN-THE WORLD CONSERVATION UNION CELEBRATES THE ADMISSION OF ITS 1000TH MEMBER

    Gland, Switzerland, 4 December 2003 (IUCN) - IUCN - The World Conservation Union, has admitted the 1000th organisation to its unique and ever-growing membership comprising States, government agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The 30 new members to this 55 years old partnership were admitted at the 59th Sitting of the IUCN Council held on December 1-3, 2003 in Gland, Switzerland.
    "Admitting new organisations does not just signify an increase in numbers of the Union's members but also an increase in new ideas and approaches to conservation and development," says Mr Alistair Gammell, Director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Chair of the Membership Committee of the IUCN Council. "New ideas and approaches continue to make IUCN the world's most experienced and respected conservation body, demonstrating an innovative conservation alliance of key stakeholders," he says.
    The Union's ever-growing influence and strength arises from the diversity of its membership and its belief in the fact that conservation will succeed where there is capacity to act collectively and when actions are based on sound knowledge. These admissions bring organisations from all the continents thereby convening both the North and the South. The newly admitted organisations are working in such areas as areas as protected areas and ecosystem management, rural development; water, wetlands, marine and coastal management; drylands; poverty and sustainable use of natural resources; wildlife; climate change and conservation finance.
    "The planet's environmental and development challenges can no longer be solved by nations and communities in isolation," says Ms Yolanda Kakabadse, the IUCN President. "The Union is the only platform where States, government agencies and NGOs bring their differences and diverse needs and, through dialogue, find ways forward on possible pathways," says Kakabadse.
    Celebrating the 1000th Member
    The 1000th member of IUCN is Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda (GESG) from Mexico and it demonstrates the calibre of members IUCN has.
    Established in 1987, GESG is a co-manager of the 383,000 hectare Biosphere Reserve, and has made considerable inroads into the community through engaging most of Sierra Gorda's 100,000 residents in promoting the wellbeing of both the environment and people.
    The Reserve, which is part of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere World Network, has 360 bird species, 130 mammal species, 71 reptile species and 23 amphibian species. Also it is believed that around 30% of the butterfly species of the national territory are found there.

    CBNRM - BACK TO THE FUTURE, THIRD NATIONAL CBNRM CONFERENCE, GABORONE 25TH AND 26TH OF NOVEMBER 2003

    Officially opening the 2003 National CBNRM Conference in Gaborone last week, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Dr. Lucas Gakale stated: "Since the formation of the first community organisation in the Chobe Enclave in 1993, CBOs operating in 9 districts have mushroomed to over 60 in 2003. Likewise, revenues have grown to 8.5 million in 2002, benefiting over 100 villages".
    CBNRM (Community-based Natural Resources Management) is suitable for Botswana since it mobilises rural communities to sustainably use local resources thereby instilling a sense of ownership over those resources with which the country is abundantly endowed. These include wildlife and other natural resources, scenic beauty and cultural heritage. Not only does this sense of ownership encourage the conservation of the very resources the communities depend on but they also create the opportunities for communities to generate economic development. Conservation and deriving benefits are two sides of the same coin called CBNRM.
    Also, CBNRM does not require capital intensive investment and is hence particularly suited for marginal areas with few development alternatives such as western and northern Botswana. CBNRM encourages private companies to enter into joint venture agreements with local communities to their mutual advantage. Generally, joint venture partners bring in critical resources such as tourism and enterprise skills, access to markets and funding sources, pay substantial amounts to communities, and many also deliver community funds/ social responsibility programmes.
    CBNRM projects, Dr. Gakale said, are mostly associated with hunting and tourism but recent data show that many more natural resources fit into the CBNRM programme. Examples are marketing of veld products, community management of National Monuments, fisheries and forestry products. In that regard it was worth mentioning that communities involved in CBNRM can be currently found in 9 out of the 10 districts of Botswana.
    The remarks from Dr. Gakale were illustrated when the Conference offered him a "CBNRM basket" containing 19 natural resource products made in Botswana ranging from herbal teas from Kweneng to morula jams from the Tswapong area.
    The message from Dr. Gakale was echoed by Ms. Masego Madzwamuse, IUCN Botswana Country Programme Coordinator, when presenting her key note paper. She emphasised the rapid expansion of CBNRM in Botswana currently covering more than 60 community organisations in 100 villages with more than 100.000 people as well as the involvement of a multitude of stakeholders at all levels. The 60-plus Community-based Organisations being the focus of CBNRM projects are assisted by 7 Government Departments, 8 NGOs, international donor agencies, research institutes and the private sector. To further develop the CBNRM approach in Botswana it is important that these stakeholders co-ordinate, co-operate and share lessons. The Third National CBNRM Conference of the 25th-26th of November is an illustration of this need.
    The Conference, Ms Madzwamuse said, is also an excellent opportunity to translate issues and the lessons learnt into recommendations towards policy and improved implementation. She urged the Conference to provide guidance to Government in finalising the long-awaited CBNRM Policy.
    Key issues that were discussed during the 2 days included the introduction of mechanisms to ensure that households more directly benefit from CBNRM; the possible ways to ensure better financial management at community level; encouragement of more viable enterprise development; and the ongoing need of capacity building and facilitation of CBNRM projects.
    The Third National CBNRM Conference was organised by the National CBNRM Forum through its secretariat IUCN and attended by 130 people from all over Botswana. Funding for the Conference came from UNDP-GEF/SGP and the CBNRM Support Programme (through HIVOS).
    (National CBNRM Forum Secretariat and Mmegi Centre-spread 5. December 2003, pg. 16+33)

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    September-October 2003 NEWS

    GOOD NEWS FOR BOTSWANA'S WILD PLANTS
    The Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) Project will conduct its first plant collecting expedition in Botswana from 5-16 November. This is good news for wild plants in Botswana, as it means that seeds will be collected in the wild and placed in long-term secure storage and should these species go extinct in the wild they will not be lost for good.
    The MSB Project in Botswana will start by focusing on 400 rare, endangered, endemic and economically important species as these are most under threat from climatic change, population and livestock pressure and over harvesting. Gradually, a national seed collection accompanied by vital botanical information will be built up. A core collection of seeds will be held at the national seed bank at Sebele while a duplicate collection will be stored in the state of the art Millennium Seed Bank in the UK for additional security. Upon application to the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre, part of the collections could be made available for research, re-introductions where the original plant populations have disappeared and for habitat restoration, for example restoring mining areas or other degraded areas. This means that indigenous plants can be used instead of exotic species.
    What is the Millennium Seed Bank Project?
    The Millennium Seed Bank Project is a global plant conservation initiative coordinated by the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Kew, in the UK. The main aim of the project, which is designed in line with the Convention of Biological Diversity to which Botswana is a signatory, is to collect and conserve seeds from wild plants around the world. These seeds will then be dried and stored in giant freezers where they can survive for at least 200 years, and some seeds even longer. This provides an insurance policy so that if the plants go extinct in the wild, the species and its genetic material are not lost forever.
    Botswana participants
    The Millennium Seed Bank Project in Botswana is a partnership between RBG Kew, the Department of Integrated Agricultural Research in the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Herbarium and National Botanical Gardens, which are part of the National Museum and Art Gallery, and Veldproducts Research and Development, a well-known environmental NGO. The five year project was signed on 14 February 2003 by the office of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculturet with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
    Why save wild plants?
    Plants are the basis for all life on earth. They are often under valued and taken for granted even though they provide food, building material, lifesaving medicines and fuelwood, and are vital ingredients in all ecosystems providing food and shelter for wildlife. Until recently wild Botswana plants have received very little protection despite their importance and the many threats they face. Climate change, population and livestock pressure, invasion of exotic and alien plants, unsustainable harvesting of veld products mean that more and more wild plants are becoming scarce. The indigenous knowledge that is attached to the plants is also slowly disappearing. Plants are not even entirely safe in nature reserves and national parks as they are browsed by wild animals and sometimes destroyed by fire, drought or flooding. The loss of Earth's biodiversity is one of the tragedies of our age - once a species becomes extinct, it is lost forever.
    When a species disappears we not only lose the potential benefits to humans, such as sources of valuable chemical compounds which can be used to cure diseases, or important genes to improve our crops, the ecosystems as a whole suffers with reduced productivity as a result.
    For further information please contact: Mr T. Ofentse, Department of Integrated Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, E-mail: tofentse@gov.bw Or Birgitta Farrington, E-mail: farrington@info.bw

    CLIMATE CHANGE KILLS 160,000 A YEAR, SAYS EXPERT
    Climate change is causing 160,000 deaths a year, according to a public health expert. The claim was made in a speech delivered at the recent World Climate Change Conference in Moscow by Professor Andy Haines of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Haines warned participants that "the disease burden caused by climate change could almost double by 2020" as the range of malaria, tick-borne encephalitis and other diseases increases due to climate change. He also predicted an increase in malnutrition and starvation as a result of a rise in extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods.
    In related news, experts also revealed that as many as 35,000 people died during the heat wave that struck Europe two months ago. Temperatures in August hit record highs across the continent, claiming thousands of lives in the UK, France, Germany and elsewhere. Such temperatures are set to become increasingly common as a result of climate change. Links to further information CNN News, 1 October 2003
    http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/10/01/warming.deaths.reut/index.html
    ENS News Service, 9 October 2003
    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2003/2003-10-09-02.asp

    RUSSIA UNDECIDED ON CLIMATE DEAL
    Russian president has said, his country remains undecided on whether or not to sign the Kyoto agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Opening a major international conference on climate change in Moscow he said his government was still studying the protocol. Russia's approval is vital for the 1997 pact to acquire the force of international law, after the United States pulled out two years ago. Putin had been urged to use the conference to confirm Russia's ratification and his comments have drawn protests from the United Nations, the European Union and environmentalists. To come into effect, the protocol requires the ratification of countries representing at least 55% of the global total of carbon dioxide emissions.
    (The Botswana Guardian, October 3rd 2003, pg 19)

    VENSON TO CLEAR TOURISM OF RACISM
    The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism is all out to clean the mess in the tourism industry to ensure that the sector contributes maximally to the country Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Tourism currently contributes about five percent to the GDP. It has also been identified by government as an alternative engine of growth away from diamonds. In a wide ranging interview with the Botswana Guardian the minister said that by making tourists spend more time and money in the country, this will be one way to generate employment. "In Chobe we want to encourage more Batswana to own parts in the tour operating businesses. We want Batswana businesses to be sub-contracted". On the type of tourism to be promoted, she said the country should promote low volume high quality tourism.
    (The Botswana Guardian, October 17th 2003, pg 25)

    ANGOLAN PEACE GOOD FOR LOCAL CONSERVATION EFFORTS
    Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS) chairman, Louis Nchindo, says the end of the war in Angola has provided a window of opportunity to enhance conservation efforts in Botswana. "the participation of Angola in the management programmes of the Okavango river upstream has become a reality. Botswana is currently reviewing the elephant management plan and the more feasible and less controversial option is to facilitate cross-border movements of elephants through the Caprivi strip in Namibia and Kwando Kubango province in Angola due to peace that has come to those areas. We have to be courageous and steadfast in championing sustainable utilisation of natural resources, at the same time ensuring that our obligations to the international community are safeguarded".
    (The Botswana Guardian, October 24th 2003, pg 28)

    USE NATURAL RESOURCES APPROPRIATELY
    The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Pelonomi Venson, says there is need to use natural resources efficiently, fairly and in a sustainable manner. Speaking at a workshop on the Integrated management of the Okavango Delta System in Maun, she said the natural beauty and abundant wildlife resources must be protected while deriving maximum benefits from them. The Minister said the Okavango delta was particularly significant as one of the largest remaining inland wetland ecosystem in the world. Wetlands, she said, were among the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. She said it was crucial that water development plans must be carefully considered to protect the biodiversity, which could be threatened by the use of water for development purposes. Venson said population pressure had led to unsustainable use of resources by the residents. "Expansion of the human activities without assistance to local communities in management, control and ownership has placed tremendous pressure on biophysical resources of the delta", she said. Finally, as part of the efforts to protect the delta and the environment, Botswana is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on wetlands and other international, environmental conventions, treaties and agreements.
    (The Daily News, October 15th, pg.4)

    V TH IUCN WORLD PARKS CONGRESS SETS AGENDA FOR NEXT DECADE, SPURS CONSERVATION INITIATIVES FOR AFRICA
    Durban, South Africa, 17 September (IUCN) - The V th IUCN World Parks Congress closes today in Durban, South Africa with participants agreeing on new commitments and policy guidance for protected areas worldwide. "Tomorrow 3000 delegates will return to their home countries armed with the Durban Accord, Action Plan and Recommendations, as well as new knowledge and contacts. For the past ten days, parks were center stage and at the front of people's minds, and we hope they will remain so beyond Durban," says Achim Steiner, Director General of IUCN - The World Conservation Union.
    The Closing Plenary of the Congress delivered the Durban Accord - a succinct statement for the future of protected areas, an Action Plan; a set of 32 specific Recommendations; and a message to next year's meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity. A number of initiatives were announced, pledging funding, political support and technical input to improve the management of this 100,000 sites-strong estate. "The Durban Accord sets a new vision - one that is clear, and one that is feasible for the world to implement. But more than that, it has created the energy and will to take this agenda for the next decade and put it to work," commented David Sheppard, Secretary General of the V th IUCN World Parks Congress. Responding to its theme "Benefits Beyond Boundaries", the Congress addressed pressing problems within protected areas by identifying new sites for under-protected ecosystems, defining tools to improve management effectiveness, finding new legal arrangements, and bringing new constituencies on board. Specifically, delegates put forward guidance to engage governments, the private sector, indigenous peoples, local communities, and youth in protected areas, to jointly safeguard the many benefits these areas provide to societies worldwide. "The discussions here were as rich as many of our National Parks. For South Africa, this is a very successful conference. It has translated many issues, such as sustainable livelihoods, sharing of benefits and the role of the private sector, that came out of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, into concrete goals and actions for the management of parks and reserves," says the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Hon. Mohammed Valli Moosa. The outputs of the Congress empower protected area managers and policy makers around the world. With the Durban Accord and the Recommendations in hand, they can start a process with their governments, institutions and organizations to make the vision set in Durban - of protected areas as a common tool for biodiversity protection and poverty alleviation - a reality. At the same time, the Congress generated the political support to transform the outputs into action. A host of new protected areas were announced in countries such as Madagascar, Senegal, and Brazil, covering well over 200,000 sq km. To top this, an excess of US$ 35 million was pledged for conservation both on land and sea. As well as having a full-day focus on Africa's issues, the Congress launched the Africa Protected Areas Initiative, a major programme to develop a well-designed and managed system of protected areas that will meet the environmental and social needs of the continent. Durban offered participants a unique opportunity to exchange experiences, learn from each other, and establish a common agenda. Discussions in the more than 200 sessions varied from unequivocal support for Recommendations on the establishment of protected areas on the high seas, to passionate debates between representatives of the extractive industries, conservationists and indigenous peoples. "It is this platform for discussion and engagement that the Congress was meant to be. In that sense, it has achieved more than we had hoped for," Steiner added. The Congress unfolded in South Africa just one year after the World Summit on Sustainable Development, seven months before the next Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Malaysia, and thirteen months before the 3 rd IUCN World Conservation Congress in Thailand. These events will be the pillars of the bridge set out by the Congress outputs, as protected areas will feature prominently at these forthcoming fora. "Nations the world over have adhered to the overarching agenda set in Caracas, Venezuela, at the previous World Parks Congress, and many targets set then have been attained and surpassed. The fact that more than 10% of the globe's surface is protected illustrates the commitment carried forward by such events. Today's agenda recognises the benefits and ensures that they are equitably shared. In 2013 we will be able to look back and hopefully be proud of our new achievements," says Dr. Kenton Miller, Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. For more information visit the website at http://www.iucn.org/themes/wcpa/wpc2003/pdfs/newsevents/day10/finalwpcpr170903.pdfhe

    LAKES, WETLANDS THREATENED BY CLIMATE CHANGE
    Climate change poses a serious threat to the world's lakes and wetlands, according to a new study. Experts from the Tyndall Center for Climate Change believe the world's lakes will experience temperature increases of up to 5.7 Celsius by 2080, threatening water levels and countless species. Press release from Global Nature Fund, 19 September 2003, Links to further information http://www.globalnature.org/bausteine/bausteine/link.asp?id=18838&domid=1011&aktion=

    PROJECTS TARGET YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AND DESERTIFICATION IN FOUR COUNTRIES
    Youth in Niger, Argentina, China and Mozambique will soon be involved in reforestation and other efforts to combat desertification in their countries. "Youth Corps for the Rehabilitation of Degraded Lands and the Environment in Niger" is a three-year project launched by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Niger. Through it, youth will be trained to undertake anti-erosion measures, create tree nurseries, protect riverbanks, clean organic waste and keep bees. The activities will be defined jointly by the youth themselves, several ministries in the government of Niger, non-governmental organizations, rural communities, community-based organizations, the private sector and the two international UN organizations. The US$450,000 project is funded with contributions from the governments of Italy and Venezuela. The Italian Government and the UNCCD Secretariat signed the agreement to implement three reforestation pilot projects in Argentina, China and Mozambique. UNDP will also be the implementing agency for these projects, which will target youth job creation and seek to strengthen synergies between the Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification. All three projects will seek to rehabilitate degraded land, create income-generating activities, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and restore and protect biodiversity. At the same time, they will aim to raise awareness and strengthen the role of youth and civil society organizations in the promotion of sustainable development in these fragile ecosystems. Links to further information UNCCD website and contact http://www.unccd.int and ckwon@unccd.int

    CARACAL
    Caracal is an NGO in the Chobe District with programmes in the following areas: Human Wildlife Conflict in Northern Botswana; Wetlands Conservation Project: Chobe Linyanti Kuando System; Effects of Humans on wildlife health and population dynamics; Predator Ecology and conflict with communities; Transboundary Management of Migratory Ungulates. The projects are reviewed on the website with the exception of the wetlands programme which should be complete soon. The website www.caracal.info is still being worked on but can already be visited for more information.

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    July-August 2003 NEWS

    IMPACTS OF HIV/AIDS ON CONSERVATION
    The Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG) has been working on the impacts of HIV/AIDS on conservation, including human capacity, and impacts on land and resource use. They have also been investigating coping strategies and best practices to reduce impacts. Workshop Report on a meeting held in Nairobi in 2002 is available here. WWF is now going to work further on this issue, and the ABCG is planning to highlight this grave problem at the World Parks Congress. For more information you can also visit the website at www.bsponline.org or www.worldwildlife.org
    (Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group)

    LOCAL TOURISM REAPS FROM ZIM CRISIS
    Botswana tourism is doing well despite the Zimbabwean crisis and the campaign by Survival International. Instead Botswana has reaped from the economic and political problems bedevilling Zimbabwe. Mr Tema, from the Department of Tourism also revealed that there has been an increase in citizen owned tourism companies, which now stand at 178 with 116 joint-ventures.
    (Mmegi, 5-11 September 2003, pg. 5)

    CROSS-BORDER TOURISM TAKES OFF
    Namibia is taking the lead in mobilising northern neighbours Botswana, Zambia, Angola and Zimbabwe to form a joint venture tourism initiative. Briefing the media on the development objectives of the Okavango Upper Zambezi International Tourism Initiative in Windhoek, Environment Permanent Secretary Malan Lindeque said the plan is an ideal opportunity for the five countries to take advantage of the region's extensive network of wildlife and natural resources. He believes that if consensus can be reached on harmonising tourism management, the area could become one of the world's premier eco, cultural and adventure tourism destination. A major objective if the plan is to improve on regional co-operation and integration on issues such as biodiversity, conservation, tourism and trade as well as development planning in other areas. The initiative stems from proposal to the Development Bank of Southern Africa several years ago on establishing a major trans-frontier wildlife sanctuary in the wetlands of the Okavango and Zambezi River basin. The broader concept was endorsed by SADC Tourism Ministers in 2001. Finally Lindeque said it made sense for the five countries to reach consensus on the management of shared resources such as water, as well as wildlife parks, which in many cases were separated only by border fences but managed differently.
    (Mmegi, 25-31 July 2003, pg. B5)

    NUJOMA URGES AFRICAN SELF-RELIANCE
    Mbkei and Nujoma signed a pact on the Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. South Africa has established similar ties with Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and agreements for three Transfrontier parks have been signed. Nujoma said cross-border agreements of this kind encourage the elimination of artificial borders in the region. The park spans 6045 square km with the largest portion (about 70%) in Namibia. It incorporates the Ai-Ais Hot Springs Game Park and the Richtersveld national Park. The long-term ideal is to link the park with the Namib desert and the Iona National Park in Angola for which a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed. The park will be important for the creation of empowerment opportunities on both sides of the border.
    (The Botswana Gazette, August 6th 2003, pg.13) More information on the Iona National Park also in the Mmegi dated 8-14 August 2003.

    USA LINKED TO THE THEFT OF BOTSWANA HERBS
    The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Wildlife is investigating the apparent plunder of the highly sought Hoodia plant, in Molepolole. The Executive Secretary of the NCSA has confirmed that the case has been passed on to ARB (Agricultural Resources Board) to investigate, as they have a law that protects indigenous plants. Hoodia or 'motlhoka-tshwaro' as is known in Setswana, is traditionally used by Basarwa to ward off hunger on their long hunting trips. It is this knowledge that the South African government through its Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) used to patent the active compound of the plant. The CSIR recognises Basarwa as originators of the traditional knowledge and signed an agreement with South Africa's San community. Botswana Technology Centre deputy communications manager, Kebadire Basako, was thrown off-guard when he learnt of the over-harvesting of the Hoodia in Molepolole. He said BOTEC has just recently developed an "interest" in biologic research. He felt an urgent step should be made to assemble a team of experts, preferably form the National Food Technology Research Centre (NAFTRC), BOTEC, the Patent Unit of the Registrar of Companies and other organs of the civic community including environmental NGO's, to study the patent on Hoodia. Nevertheless, as things stand, caution has certainly been thrown in the winds.
    (The Botswana Guardian, September 5th 2003, pg.3)

    WORLD BANK LAUNCHES GLOBAL FUND FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
    A Global Fund for Indigenous Peoples, designed to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples' in development decisions that affect their lives, has been initiated by the World Bank. Launched on the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples (8 August), the Fund will provide financial support for a Grant Facility that will provide small grants directly to Indigenous Peoples Organizations for development related activities; a capacity building programme for Indigenous Peoples leaders in the Andean region; and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The outcome of a series of dialogues with Indigenous Peoples leaders from around the world, the Fund seeks to increase the participation of Indigenous Peoples in policy formulation and in the design and implementation of projects in their respective communities and countries. It also aims to help Indigenous Peoples Organizations in their ability to engage government agencies in their policy reform dialogue. Links to further information: World Bank press release, 8 August 2003 Http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:20123218~menuPK:34463~pagePK:64003015~piPK:64003012~theSitePK:4607,00.html World Bank Indigenous Peoples website http://www.worldbank.org/indigenous
    (Linkages Update - Earth Negotiations Bulletin, August 23rd 2003)

    NATIONAL RECOVERY PLANS BRING HOPE FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
    Australia's Minister of Environment David Kemp recently announced a national recovery plan to increase protection for Australia's marine turtles. Noting that the number of marine turtles nesting on Australian shores have declined dramatically in the past 25 years, Kemp said the national recovery plan is designed to reverse the decline "as a matter of urgency" to restore turtle populations over the next few decades. The plan identifies five different habitat types that marine turtles use at different stages of their lives and the main threats caused by humans who share these habitats. Actions in the plan aim to reduce the impact of these threats and to increase marine turtle survival rates, particularly of adults and large immature turtles that are to become part of the breeding population.
    Meanwhile on another continent, Zambia has formulated its national policy on rhinoceros management and rehabilitation. With the assistance of conservation experts and wildlife managers from the 14 member countries of the Southern Africa Development Community, the Zambia Wildlife Authority finalized the policy document, which aims to reverse the current destructive trends and promote rhinos' conservation. Development of this policy would see the reintroduction of the black rhino, which has been poached to extinction in Zambia. Links to further information: Recovery Plan for Marine Turtles in Australia
    http://www.ea.gov.au/coasts/species/turtles/recovery/index.html
    Environmental news service, 29 July 2003
    http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2003/2003-07-29-02.asp
    (Linkages Update - Earth Negotiations Bulletin, August 23rd 2003)

    DEATH OF LAKE NGAMI
    It is now more than 20 years since Lake Ngami lost its cool breeze and its natural and magnetic water force that used to attract all types of species. Lake Ngami is no more. About 80 Km south of Maun at Sehitwa, on the western base of the Okavango Delta, is a dry pan where the lake used to be. Before human interference, Lake Ngami used to get its water from the Okavango River. During the Pleistocene epoch, the lake covered an extensive area. Since the late 1880's, when papyrus growth blocked the mouth of its main tributary, the lake shrunk in size. South African Journal of Science says: "Documentary evidence has additionally been used to identify that the flow of water in Thaoge River system, one of the key inflows to Lake Ngami, ceased in late 1879 to 1880, shortly before the desiccation of the lake in 1881". According to the residents of Sehitwa though, the lake dried for a very long time in the early 1960s and when lest expected it filled up again only to dry up once more. There are different arguments on why the lake dried up, several of these turn towards mankind developments upstream.
    (Kutlwano, June Vol. 41, Issue 6, pg. 4)

    PROMOTING COMMON PROPERTY IN AFRICA: NETWORKS FOR INFLUENCING POLICY AND GOVERNANCE OF NATURAL RESOURCES (CO-GOVERN)
    Common property resources (CPRs) remain of great significance for many rural people throughout sub-Saharan Africa, providing grazing for livestock, timber and wood fuel, thatching, honey, fruits and other products for domestic use and sales. CPRs are of particular significance to the livelihoods of poorer people, for whom opportunities to earn off-farm incomes are often severely limited.
    Many African governments pass new legislation to devolve certain responsibilities for management of natural resources to a range of local level structures (village body, district council, wildlife conservancy group), but there is resistance to transferring full management rights to the communities that depend on the resources. The same governments do not formally recognise the 'local community' as a legal entity with management powers and capacities. Yet, at the same time, there is increasing encroachment on such CPRs, with the growing risk of their disappearance, or their privatisation by those with power and influence.
    Given the critical role of common property resources for rural livelihoods and biodiversity, it is essential to promote debate on the institutional options that offer the best prospects for sustainable and equitable management of these resources, for wider social and environmental benefits. This requires a better understanding of the changing status and availability of CPRs, the range of institutions for managing CPRs, their experience and how they operate in different settings, as well as their effectiveness in achieving sustainability, equity and productivity goals.
    A considerable body of research exists on local CPR management systems, from which to develop a set of policy options for decision-makers to consider. The synthesis of such research findings will identify the opportunities presented by different institutional and legal approaches to CPR management. In particular, paying attention to customary institutions and knowledge, as an important basis for making policy choices is important. Since CPR regimes can also generate significant transaction costs (due to the time required for negotiating access rights, monitoring, and policing the rules), there is a need to demonstrate potential benefits from shared management and ensuring multiple user access.
    The Co-Govern project commenced in 2002 and runs until June 2005. Papers, case studies and policy briefs arising from this project will be published and hosted on partner websites.
    The Expected Outcomes are that building on a combination of recent research advances in the field of CPR management, this program will strengthen networks of African researchers and land professionals, to promote exchange of experience, dialogue and analysis, and identify ways of ensuring that local practice better informs legal reforms and policies regarding CPRs.
    For more information on the project please contact : Munyaradzi Saruchera, e-mail: msaruchera@uwc.ac.za tel. +27-21-959 3733. (Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), School of Government, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa) or visit the website at http://www.uwc.ac.za/plaas/co-govern/
    (PLAAS)

    NACOBTA BOOKING AND INFORMATION OFFICE - MEET THE PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA
    This completely new and innovative initiative from NACOBTA has started its operation in July 2002! The main aim of the booking office is to give an extra boost to community based enterprises that have reached a standard level of quality. More enterprises that reach that standard level will be linked to the booking office continually.
    The booking office is now still supported by funding from TCF, the Tourism Challenge Fund from Dfid. However, in a few years time, the booking office will be able to sustain itself, thanks to all support from community tourism bookings, private sector and government.
    What does the booking office do? The NACOBTA booking and information office focuses on bookings for Community-Based Tourism (CBT) Enterprises and community friendly enterprises. These enterprises are located at the most beautiful and unique spots throughout the country and include campsites, tented camps, guiding services, traditional villages, museums, hotels and lodges. Taste the traditions and the atmosphere that surrounds Namibian lives and give a personal touch to your Namibia experience!
    Booking all your trips - to private & community enterprises - through the Nacobta Booking Office makes community tourism sustainable., use NACOBTA booking and information office. For more information you can contact NACOBTA at nacobta@iafrica.com.na or NACOBTA Booking Co-ordinator Namibia Crafts Centre, 40 Talstreet P.O.Box: 40504, Windhoek, Namibia Tel: +264 61 255977, Fax: +264 61 255957 or visit the website at www.nacobta.com.na

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    June 2003 NEWS

    4TH NATIONAL CBNRM FORUM
    The Fourth National CBNRM Forum meeting was held on the 12th of June 2003, at the President Hotel in Gaborone. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss relevant CBNRM issues and follow-up on recommendations of previous Conferences, Forums, Steering Committee meetings and other CBNRM related events. Some of the items on the agenda included: discussions on the problems around community management of CBNRM funds towards possible solutions, as well as presentations of the EU funded Wildlife Conservation and Management Programme (2002-2006) - Community Development Fund (CDF) and the Community Based Strategy (RDCD). 38 participants representing all stakeholder groups (CBO's, NGO's, Government departments and the Private sector) as well as 23 observers attended this years Forum. For more information you can read the Proceedings or contact the National CBNRM Forum Secretariat at Cathrine@iucnbot.bw.
    (National CBNRM Forum Secretariat, June 2003)

    NATIONAL CBNRM REVIEW
    On June 3rd the Inception Report for the National Review on CBNRM in Botswana was presented to the RRC for discussion and approved. The approval of the report led to the start of the consultation process. The process will include in-depth case studies at community level in Sankuyo, Khwai, Kgetsi ya tsie and KD1 (Ukhwi, Ngwatle and Ncaang) with the intention to draw lessons from the CBNRM implementation so far. The same reasoning applies to taking a closer look at the roles played by BOCOBONET and NGOs such as the Kalahari Conservation Society and Thusano Lefatsheng. Also 2 private sector companies (Rann Safaris and HCH) will be studied more closely to understand their roles in joint venture agreements with communities (CECT and STMT).
    The consultants will present and discuss an issues and options report to 3 stakeholder workshops in Kgalagadi, Ngamiland and Central districts (tentatively in August). A draft report will be presented to the National CBNRM Forum (tentatively September). The review is expected to be completed not later than the 1st of October 2003. The final report will be translated into a "popular version" for wide distribution over all stakeholders in and beyond Botswana as part of the CBNRM Support Programme Occasional Paper Series (#15). For more information you can read the Inception Report or visit the CBNRM website at www.cbnrm.bw.
    (National CBNRM Forum/Review Secretariat, June 2003)

    WORLD PARKS CONGRESS TO INCLUDE A WCS/IUCN-VSG & SASUSG/PACE-IBAR/OIE-SPONSORED FORUM
    Southern and East African Experts Panel on Designing Successful Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface: Implications for Wildlife, Livestock, and Human Health.
    A two-day interactive forum at which approximately 55 invited Southern and East African and other experts share their vision for conservation and development success at the wildlife / livestock interface with World Parks Congress attendees and invited representatives from bilateral and multilateral development agencies and other interested parties. Please note that due to limited space and funding and the group size limitation imposed by the interactive nature of the forum, participants have already been invited and confirmed. Veterinary Specialist Group (VSG) members and other interested parties who are not attending are encouraged to send their thoughts and ideas on the themes described below to VSG Co-Chairs William Karesh and Richard Kock and the Regional Chair Jacob Mwanzia, or to Steve Osofsky, WCS Senior Policy Advisor for Wildlife Health, at the Wildlife Conservation Society: sosofsky@wcs.org.
    The purpose of the Forum is to foster a sharing of ideas among African practitioners and development professionals that will lead to concrete and creative initiatives that address conservation and development challenges related to health at the livestock/wildlife/human interface. The focus of presentations will be ongoing efforts and future needs in and around the region's flagship protected areas and conservancies and their buffer zones- the places where tensions and challenges at the livestock/wildlife interface are often greatest. IUCN Veterinary Specialist Group (VSG) members are playing a key role in helping to lay the scientific foundation for an international animal health and natural resources management initiative that a growing consortium of organizations plans to launch within the context of the upcoming (September '03) IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa. The initiative is called AHEAD- Animal Health for the Environment And Development. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), IUCN VSG, and other partners are helping to start AHEAD in recognition of the importance of animal health to both conservation and development interests. Around the world, domestic and wild animals are coming into ever-more-intimate contact as we all of course know, and (without adequate scientific knowledge and planning) the consequences can be detrimental on one or both sides of the proverbial fence. But armed with the tools that the health sciences provide, conservation and development objectives have a much greater chance of being realized- particularly at the critical wildlife / livestock interface where conservation and agricultural interests meet head-on. We hope to catalyze work focused on several themes of critical importance to the future of animal agriculture, wildlife health, and human health (including zoonoses, competition over grazing and water resources, disease mitigation, local and global food security, and other potential sources of conflict related to overall land-use planning and economics). To date, neither the nongovernmental organizations nor the aid community nor academia have holistically addressed the landscape-level nexus represented by the wildlife health / domestic animal health / human health triangle.
    The IUCN World Parks Congress is a very high profile event both wherever it is held and in the international media. The Congress is only held once every 10 years, and will likely bring approximately 3,000 international attendees to Durban overall.
    Organizations potentially interested in co-sponsoring the AHEAD forum should contact Steve Osofsky at sosofsky@wcs.org
    (by WCS, June 2003)

    ELEPHANTS THREATEN LIVES, ENVIRONMENT
    The Botswana elephant population is growing by more than five percent every year, overwhelming the environment and threatening human life. A conservation science consultant Collin Craig who has been engaged by government to draw an elephant management plan for Botswana, says since 1987 the elephant population has been growing by more than five percent per year. He said elephants were responsible for human deaths, crop raiding and damage to property. "They also reduce biodiversity, cause soil erosion and there is a change in vegetation structure," he said. Craig was making a presentation during the KCS annual general meeting last week in Gaborone. He came up with a number of options addressing the elephant population explosion in the Country. Craig suggested an increase in the number of elephants given to the communities. For the past ten years some communities have been given a quota to utilise. Last year only 12 of the 123000 elephants in the country were divided among 40 community trusts. Every year the department of wildlife gives a certain number of unprotected animals to the community trusts for utilisation. He said this would encourage the sustainable use of elephants and improve returns from the consumptive utilisation. Some of the options include elimination by translocation or culling. KCS chairman Louis Nchindo says "The elephant debate will always be a challenge to us as conservationists and we have to be courageous and steadfast to champion sustainable utilisation of the environment at the same time preserving it for future generations. He notes that the advent of Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) has provided society with the opportunity to create chances for community benefit from natural resources and explains that it is an advantage to their conservation efforts.
    (The Botswana Guardian, June 27 2003, pg. 17)

    NEW BOOK ON "ANIMAL HEALTH MATTERS"
    The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has just completed a general guide called "Animal Health Matters: Improving the Health of Wild and Domestic Animals to Enhance Long-Term Development Success in USAID-Assisted Countries." This document was prepared with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and may be of general interest to agencies and individuals working in developing countries. The guide's purpose is to raise awareness, in largely non-technical terms, regarding the critical role animal health plays in national economies and family livelihoods, in conservation as well as development. The document emphasizes a "one health" perspective, and includes an Executive Synopsis as well as sections such as "Selected Examples of Animal Health Issues of Importance in North America," "Applying the Lessons Learned at Home to Foreign Assistance Programs," as well as a basic "Checklist for Mitigating Wildlife Health Impacts in USAID-Assisted Projects." Additional literature references as well as a range of web resources are also provided. To view the document, please go to www.fieldvet.org . An HTML version is viewable online, and a pdf version (92 pp and ~3MB) is also downloadable. We hope the materials are useful to the conservation and development communities.
    (The WCS Field Veterinary Program, June 2003)


    SANProTA GETS A NEW NAME
    PhytoTrade Africa, The Southern African Natural Products Trade Association
    On 1st June 2003, SANProTA (the Southern African Natural Products Trade Association), will officially become known by its new name: PhytoTrade Africa. In conjunction with the name-change, we'll be launching an entirely new corporate image - new logo, new colour-scheme, new fonts, new persona. There'll be other changes, too; more subtle, perhaps, but important nonetheless. Out will go our historical affinity towards supply-driven, NGO-type development approaches, replete with tongue-twisting acronyms, woolly notions about target groups and protectionism, and well-meaning, but ineffective, management strategies; in will come a new, demand-driven approach to business development, service provision, and market penetration, aimed at giving you, our members, exactly what you want, when you want it.
    What was wrong with the old name?
    'SANProTA' is an acronym. It doesn't mean anything in itself; it only takes on meaning if you spell it out. And, there being six different words (and sixteen syllables!) to spell out, this takes time. On its own, that might not be a problem. But now factor in the images that the word 'SANProTA' conjures up, and you can see where the problem arises. SANProTA has been described, variously, as evocative of a health remedy, a toilet cleaner, a cure for incontinence and a technical assistance scheme for disadvantaged people. None of which really puts us in the category to which we aspire! More importantly, though, 'SANProTA' was inconsistent with the image we want to portray. If we want to be taken seriously, in the cut-and-thrust world of the natural products industry, we have to look and sound the part. Acronyms like 'SANProTA' may suit the world into which we were born, but they don't suit the world in which we're growing up. Equally, we have to act the part. If we don't look and sound the part, acting it is nigh on impossible. And it's not just about getting taken seriously by others. It's about taking ourselves seriously. Think serious, act serious, be serious.
    Is a change desirable?
    It takes a certain amount of courage to change your name. We're all given a name at birth, whether we're an individual or an institution. Before we can talk for ourselves, others begin calling us by that name, and soon it becomes entrenched. When, eventually, we come of age, either the name suits us, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, though, what then? The fear is that, if we change our name, no-one will know who we are any more. It's a legitimate fear, too. When we first launched our web-site, for example (in April 2002), we received a little over 100 hits a month. Now (May 2003) we receive nearly 4000 hits a month. People know us. If we change our name, will we have to start again? Maybe we will. But we don't think so. We're judged by what we do, not what we say, and on that score, it seems more likely that people will be grateful, finally, to have an intelligible and (reasonably!) pithy name to match to our achievements. On balance, then, the pros of changing our name considerably outweigh the cons. And once the decision has been made, the sooner it is implemented, the better.
    What does the new name mean?
    The ideal name for an institution is one that describes, simply, what it does, one that evokes positive images, and one that is not easily forgotten. PhytoTrade Africa meets all of these criteria. 'Phyto' comes from the Greek word for 'plant' - the Greek equivalent of 'flora'. Literally, therefore, our new name implies that we trade in African plants. Which, in fact, we do. But there is more to it. Within our key markets, the term 'phyto' has a certain resonance, similar to the one that 'natural' once had (but has since lost through over-use). 'Phyto - medicines', 'phyto - pharmaceuticals' and 'phyto - nutrients', for example, are all terms familiar to the natural products industry, and imply that these products are natural, wholesome and, of course, plant-derived.
    What next?
    We're still the Southern African Natural Products Trade Association; this is our legal identity and cannot be changed. But from now on, we will refer to ourselves, and be referred to by others, as PhytoTrade Africa.
    So, now you know our new name, and the rationale behind it, take a look at our new corporate image, as displayed on our new web-site - www.phytotradeafrica.com.
    (by PhytoTrade Africa, June 2003)

    COOPERATION OVERTURES FROM ANGOLA
    The visit to Botswana by Dos Santos was an opportunity to pave the way forward for bi-lateral cooperation. The two countries had longstanding collaboration in the management of the Okavango River, which rises in Angola and feeds a large ecological system in Botswana and the Okavango Delta, key to the tourist industry, which is considered a major engine of growth for the Botswana economy. Only last month the ministers met in Maun to exchange views on how the countries can collectively continue harnessing the waters of the Okavango River for economic growth on an environmental sound and sustainable basis, Mogae said. While Angola was more occupied with its peace process, there was acrimonious debate between Namibia, the third Okavango Riparian country, and Botswana over the use of water from the river.
    (Mmegi, 06-12 June 2003, pg. 8)

    LAND ROVER SPONSORS BIRD LIFE WEBSITE
    Land Rover Gaborone is sponsoring the Birdlife Botswana website at www.birdlifebotswana.orci.bw. Birdlife Botswana promotes bird conservation, eco-tourism and environmental education in Botswana. The sponsorship will last for three years.
    (Mmegi, 27 June - 3 July 2003, pg. B9)

    NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2004 STOCKHOLM WATER PRIZE
    Agency: Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
    Nominations for the 2004 Stockholm Water Prize - which can be presented for excellence in water action, water awareness building, water management or water science - are now being sought and will be accepted until September 30, 2003. Eligibility for the $150,000 Stockholm Water Prize is open to individuals, institutions, organisations and companies for outstanding achievements that increase knowledge of water, raise understanding of the many faceted aspects of this precious resource, and protect its usability and availability for all life. Previous Prize Laureates have represented many water-related disciplines - including academia, education and research, development aid, engineering and law - and have come from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland, the United States and Venezuela. For more information, or to download a nominating brochure, visit www.siwi.org.

    NOMINATIONS FOR THE EQUATOR PRIZE 2004
    Agency: The Equator Initiative
    The Equator Prize is a prestigious international award recognizing outstanding local achievement in combining poverty reduction with biodiversity conservation. The Prize is open to grassroots initiatives within the equatorial belt - site of the world's richest biodiversity and home to many of its poorest people. The six awardees will each receive a trophy, a cheque for US$30,000 - and the global recognition they deserve. The countdown to the Equator Prize 2004 began on World Environment Day (5 June 2003) with the official Call for Nominations. The closing date for nominations is 5 October 2003. It is hoped that not a single outstanding initiative will escape the attention of the Equator Prize Jury. So if you know of a great community project in a developing country within the equatorial belt, please be sure to get it nominated! Please visit the Equator Initiative website (www.EquatorInitiative.org) for a complete list of eligibility criteria, and for full instructions on how to make a nomination. The sooner nominations are made the better, since those received prior to 25 July will receive initial feedback, if requested, that may strengthen submissions before being passed to the Jury. Nominees should demonstrate evidence of the following qualities: impact; partnerships; sustainability; innovation and transferability; leadership and community empowerment; gender equality and social inclusion. The Equator Prize Award Ceremony will take place in early 2004 at the Seventh Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Malaysia: a key date in the international calendar and a truly global platform from which the 25 finalists will be able to share the benefits of their experience. Contact details
    Nominations may be submitted online, by e-mail, post or fax no later than the October 5, 2003 deadline to: Equator Initiative, UNDP 405 Lexington Avenue, 4th Floor New York, NY 10174 USA, Tel: +1.212.457.1709, Fax: +1.212.457.1370 EquatorInitiative@undp.org

    ANNOUNCEMENT

    On 1 July 2003, DITSHWANELO launched its website. Please log on to: www.ditshwanelo.org.bw
    (DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, June 2003)

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    May 2003 NEWS

    NATIONAL REVIEW OF CBNRM IN BOTSWANA 2003
    The stakeholders, including the Government of Botswana, involved in Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in Botswana have agreed to undertake a national review of CBNRM in Botswana. The goal of the exercise is to reflect on the progress made so far, the problems encountered and to find a way forward to improve on the design and implementation of the approach. DFID and the CBNRM Support Programme will finance the exercise while the funds will be managed by IUCN Botswana. A Review Reference Committee, chaired by DWNP will guide the review.
    Eighteen (18) companies responded to the consultancy announcement. An initial short-listing of 6 companies was done on the 26th of February while the final selection was made during the Review Reference Committee (RRC) meeting of the 19th of March 2003.
    The Centre of Applied Research with a team including Jaap Arntzen, Ketsile Molokomme, Onkemetse Tshosa, Nkobi Moleele, David Mazambani and Beth Terry will start with the Review as from the 1st of May.
    The next step for the consultant will be drafting the Inception Report (end of May) after which the consultation process starts. The process will include in-depth case studies at community level in Sankuyo, Khwai, Kgetsi ya tsie and KD1 (Ukhwi, Ngwatle and Ncaang) with the intention to draw lessons from the CBNRM implementation so far. The same reasoning applies to taking a closer look at the roles played by BOCOBONET and NGOs such as the Kalahari Conservation Society and Thusano Lefatsheng. Also 2 private sector companies (Rann Safaris and HCH) will be studied more closely to understand their roles in joint venture agreements with communities (CECT and STMT).
    The consultants will present and discuss an issues and options report to 3 stakeholder workshops in Kgalagadi, Ngamiland and Central districts (probably in July). A draft report will be presented to the National CBNRM Forum (probably August/September). The review is expected to be completed not later than the 1st of October 2003. The final report will be translated into a "popular version" for wide distribution over all stakeholders in and beyond Botswana as part of the CBNRM Support Programme Occasional Paper Series (#15).
    The timing of the review comes at an opportune moment. The Review Reference Committee (RRC) was informed that the Ministries of Environment as well as Local Government have agreed to "restart" the district consultation process on the draft CBNRM Policy. This "restart" was prompted by questions asked in Parliament recently regarding the delay of the finalisation of the Policy. It is planned that both the consultation process and the national review will result into an updated and improved CBNRM Policy to be presented to Parliament towards the end of the year.
    For up-dated information please visit the Botswana CBNRM website at http://www.cbnrm.bw.
    (CBNRM Support Programme, April the 9th 2003)

    NEW TRANSBOUNDARY INITIATIVE LAUNCHED IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
    Harare, Zimbabwe, 7 May 2003 (IUCN) - The Zimbabwe-Mozambique-Zambia (ZIMOZA) transboundary natural resources management initiative, the first of its kind in Southern Africa, will officially be launched today in Luangwa, Zambia. Cooperation through the ZIMOZA project will secure the long term conservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources in the area. "IUCN sowed the first seed for this transboundary initiative to grow," says David Sheppard, Head IUCN Programme on Protected Areas and Secretary General of the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress "in the initial stages, IUCN mobilized stakeholders, reached consensus, and then found the financial resources to implement the initiative - the fertilizer to ensure the roots develop." IUCN has been involved in the initiative since its inception in 1999 when the Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Mines, Environment and Tourism, Edward Chindori Chininga asked IUCN to facilitate collaboration among the border communities of the three countries. Working with local communities, IUCN focused primarily on resolving conflicts in the use of natural resources around the border, solving of transboundary problems, and sharing experiences. The ZIMOZA initiative, sponsored by USAID, is expected to help curb rampant poaching of wildlife and cross-border trade in the region; reduce deforestation; and reverse the poor state of infrastructure, particularly the roads. It will also focus on conflict prevention and resolution; building trust, confidence and security. Collaboration between the countries should also lead to greater regional stability. This will be beneficial to the establishment of the tourism industry, which will be a step in the right direction for the realisation of the full economic potential of the area. ZIMOZA stands to promote community-based management of the environment and natural resources, and help promote biological and cultural diversity in the area. The region encompasses the biodiversity-rich African Rift Valley and spans the Guruve District in Zimbabwe, the Luangwa District in Zambia, and the Zumbo and Magoe Districts in Mozambique. Transboundary cooperation is one of the leading themes of this year's Vth IUCN World Parks Congress - the world's major forum on protected areas, to be held in Durban, South Africa, from 8 to 17 September. It is also the subject of one of IUCN's cutting-edge publications in the Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines series. The guidelines build on some fifteen years of work on transboundary issues by IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas, a unique network of 1300 experts from 139 countries. For more information, contact: Caroline Gwature, Information and Marketing Unit, tel: +263-4 728266/7 or email:<mailto:carolineg@iucnrosa.org.zw> Xenya Cherny, IUCN Communications, tel: +41-22 9990127 or email:<mailto:xec@iucn.org; <http://www.iucn.org> Created in 1948, IUCN - The World Conservation Union brings together 75 states, 108 government agencies, 750 plus NGOs, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. IUCN's mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. IUCN is the world's largest environmental knowledge network and has helped over 75 countries to prepare and implement national conservation and biodiversity strategies. IUCN is a multi-cultural, multilingual organization with 1000 staff located in 62 countries. Its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland. The IUCN World Congress on Protected Areas, or IUCN World Parks Congress as it has become known, is a 10 yearly event which provides the major global forum for setting the agenda for protected areas. Previous Congresses have had a tremendous impact in assisting national governments to create new protected areas, and direct more resources towards biodiversity conservation. The Vth IUCN World Parks Congress will be held in Durban, South Africa, from 8 to 17 September, 2003. Both Patrons of the Congress, former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mr Nelson Mandela and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan strongly endorse the theme of the Congress, "Benefits Beyond Boundaries". The Vth IUCN World Parks Congress is organised by <http://iucn.org/themes/wcpa/wpc/about/www.iucn.org> IUCN - The World Conservation Union, its World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), South African National Parks and the <http://www.gov.za/> Government of South Africa.

    CHEETAH CONSERVATION BOTSWANA - WHY CONSERVE CHEETAHS??
    Cheetahs are unique animals. They are the most specialised of all 37 species of cat and the world's fastest land mammal. Its light, flexible skeleton, small head, specialised organs, claws and tail are all designed for speed. It is also different from many other big cats, in that it has a non aggressive, shy nature and when challenged it will be the first to retreat. They have been revered for centuries as symbols of nobility and grace and have been kept for hunting by royalty for over 5000 years.
    The cheetah is one of Africa's most endangered cats. Populations are dramatically declining. The species is now threatened with extinction due to loss of habitat and prey, a diminishing gene pool and human persecution. Botswana contains one of the largest remaining populations of free ranging cheetahs in the world. It has been estimated at 1768 individuals (Funston et al 2001). This represents 12% of the world's population, identifying Botswana as one of the last strongholds of the species. However, populations are not safe within protected areas as they are outcompeted by stronger predators, such as lions and hyenas. Many cheetahs then move out onto marginal land, where they come into conflict with rural farming communities. Their survival is dependant on conservation management of these areas.
    Despite being listed as a species threatened with extinction by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and vulnerable by the IUCN, no formalised studies have been done and little is known about the status of the cheetah in Botswana. In order to create a management plan for the species to ensure its survival into the future, we need to understand what is occurring in our resident populations and how they are being affected by the factors influencing them.
    Cheetah Conservation Botswana: To address the above problem Cheetah Conservation Botswana has been set up this year under the umbrella of the Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation and in collaboration with Kalahari Conservation Society and the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks. It aims to be a long term conservation project, incorporating scientific research, practical species management and community education. One of our main focuses is aiding the farming community with predator management. In order to understand the status of the species we are carrying out a comprehensive survey of farms, game reserves, cattleposts, etc to see where the cheetahs are and where they are causing problems. We have prepared a questionnaire to gather information about predators on farmlands. This will help us to understand the following:
    1.Where the main populations of cheetah are occurring.
    2.Which factors cause cheetahs or other predators to begin taking livestock.
    3.Which methods are successful in preventing cheetahs from taking livestock.
    The results of the survey will allow us to identify priority areas, where we can focus education and information programmes on non lethal methods of predator control, appropriate livestock management and encourage farmers to coexist with cheetahs. While proximity to farms does produce cheetah / livestock conflicts, it has been demonstrated that with the maintenance of a suitable prey base, increased awareness of the benefits of a healthy ecosystem and the adoption of simple and appropriate livestock husbandry techniques, this conflict can be minimized to the benefit of all. It has been shown by the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, that when successfully managed, predators and farming communities can utilise the same areas with minimum of conflict. As part of our education campaign we will promote several successful methods of non lethal predator control, which can be utilized to prevent cheetah becoming problem animals. Such as kraaling young livestock, keeping calving camps near to homestead, keeping older experienced steers with horns with the herd, keeping female donkeys with the herd, utilizing guarding breeds of dogs, etc. As a last resort, we will relocate problem animals to suitable release sites, where they will be monitored by telemetry and information gathered on behaviour, home ranges, diseases and genetic status. As a flagship species, protection of the cheetah and awareness raising for the species goes hand in hand with protecting the entire ecosystem. A viable population of cheetah requires a suitable prey base and habitat. Therefore, protection of the cheetah means protection for the entire ecosystem.
    If anyone reading this has a farm or knows of friends who do, please consider calling us at 71759219 / 71464809 / 71656782 and we will send you out a questionnaire. Alternatively, email us at cheetah@mokolodi.com. As well as this, please call us with your cheetah sightings and any info you may have that may help us!
    (Mokolodi, May 2003)

    ANNOUNCEMENT
    It is with great dismay to inform you about the tragic death of Mr Desire Matirekwe. He was a staff member at ZERO Regional Environment Organization in Zimbabwe since 1991 up until he met his death on Sunday the 20th of April 2003. Desire was serving as the NAWISA contact person at ZERO since NAWISA was launched. He is survived by his wife, two sons and one daughter. His funeral took place in Mutare on April 23rd 2003. May we all pay our last respect to Desire by observing a moment of silence during the course of tomorrow. May his soul rest in peace.
    (Sindisiwe Ngcobo NAWISA Co-ordinator P.O.Box 13378 Mowbray 7705 Tel: +27 +21 448-2881, Fax: +27 +21 448-2922)

    RESEARCHES - BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN LIVESTOCK KEEPING AND OTHER NATURAL PRODUCTS
    In supporting communities to improve their alternatives and the quality of livelihood options it is important that these remain sustainable. The natural resources found in Ngamiland (like most of the Country) daily face the challenege of meeting peoples growing survival demands which include food for livestock. In Ngamiland (to a larger extent than most of the country) survival demands on the envirionemnt include that of wildlife as well as that of peoples and their domestioc aniumals. The key question that this research will address is "given the current ecosystem and people's current livelihoods practices, how much livestock can be sustained now and in the future". This study will be carried out in the three villages in Okavango sub-district - Qangwa, Habu and Beetsha.
    (ACORD Botswana, Newsletter March 2003)

    THE MANY BENEFITS OF THE MORULA TREE
    The people in Namibia like Batswana and people in South Africa, have recognised the economic potential of the Morula tree fruit and its by-products.
    In Botswana a women's cooperative in the Tswapong area harvests the Morula fruit when it is season to make jam and recently began exploring the export of iol extracted from the fruit, for the manufacture of natural cosmetics. In South Africa, the Amarula liquor is becoming a brand name that has became very popular locally abroad. Namibian people are also involved in the commercial production and marketing of several products derived from the Morula fruit, which include various cosmetic products, refreshments, wine and cooking oil. Many of these products are available locally, while others are being sold on the international market" said Nujoma addressing the Omangongo Cultural Festival 2003. Omugongo fruit is used to make a traditional wine (omagongo), juice (oshinwa) and cooking oil (odjove). The by-products that remain after the extraction of cooking oil and the manufacture of cosmetics are used to make different types of soap. He also called on communities to plant many indigenous trees so that they can provide the country with fruit, shade and timber, as well as prevent desertification which threatens many areas.
    (The Botswana Gazette, May 7th 2003, pg. 16)

    LIFELINE VOLUNTEERS PREPARE FOR TRANS-MAKGADIKGADI TREK
    Botswana's spectacular Pans will be in the spotlight next month when Dr Nomsa Mbere and a small group of volunteers will undertake a 150Km journey across this unique wilderness area. The journey has a two fold purpose: to raise awareness of the need to protect the historically important and fragile environment of the Pans and to raise funds for Lifeline Botswana. The journey will start at Jack's Camp on June the 11th and will end at Sowa Town on June 15th.
    (Mmegi, 23-29th May 2003, pg. Bokamoso6)

    OKAVANGO RIVER BASIN MINISTERIAL WORKSHOP
    The Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM)held a workshop at the Maun Lodge. It was launched on the 7th and ended on the 9th of May and involved the water and environment ministers, permanent secretaries and Senior officials of the three countries, Angola, Botswana and Namibia, that share one common river, the Okavango River. The workshop was an open discussion of interest and issues concerning the Okavango River Basin. Min. Hon. Mokgothu, said after a low flight over the delta "The Okavango belongs to all of us and we must see to it that what ever we do in our individual countries does not cause problems that threaten nature, the river flows through Angola and Namibia and dams or alterations to the flow of water might have some effect on the delta".
    (Mmegi, 23-29th May 2003, pg. 26/31)

    BOTSWANA DROUGHT STRICKEN
    Government is to spent and estimated P282 million on drought relief measures to be implemented between July 2003 and June 2004. Declaring the country drought stricken, the President said the 2002/2003 rainfall season was generally deficient and only seven per cent of the 300000 Ha available for arable farming had been ploughed and planted. This season production level were expected to drop to their lowest in more than 10 Years and only four percent of the total national cereal requirement would be met locally. The measures include the continuation of the labour intensive public works programme and under five supplementary feeding programme which would now include children up to six not yet in school while remote area dweller children would be provided with a second meal.
    (Daily News, May 12th, 2003, pg1)

    ZIM COMMUNITIES WANT TO TAKE PARKS BACK
    When Zimbabwe designated a 5000 Km2 stretch of southern savannah as the Gonarezhou National Park in 1966, the new park boundaries did more than protect the wildlife within the park, they locked people out. With the creation of the park the government forcibly relocated a number of traditional communities that had lived on the land for generations. The conflict between park and people is not unique to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has begun to reconsider parts of its policy of keeping local communities out of the parks. In 1982, the government gave limited permission for locals to benefit from sport hunting in wilderness areas outside the park when it adopted the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). However, communities displaced decades ago are now pushing for more than just sport hunting rights; they want their land and resources back. "What we have learned in the past 30 to 40 years is that communities outside parks must be allowed to benefit from the environmental goods and services those protected areas produce" said Dr Miller (Vice President for Conservation at the World Resources Institute). "Only then doe we see truly sustainable parks and viable communities with proper human services such as education, health and transportation" he continued. In Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe revenue generated from hunting, eco-tourism and photo-safaris is invested into conservation and the development of roads, bridges, schools and clinics. "As a community we also need to set up big business ventures inside Chobe National Park" said Luckson Masule, Chief of the Chobe Enclave in Botswana. "Already there is a privately run lodge in the Chobe National Park. We request that we be granted the same opportunity. This is the way that our community can benefit beyond the park boundaries".
    (Mmegi, 30 May-5 June 2003, pg. 24)

    ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR IUCN (SOUTHERN AFRICA)
    IUCN is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr James Murombedzi as the new Regional Director for its Regional Office for Southern Africa with effect from June I 2003.
    Dr Murombedzi joins the IUCN from the Ford Foundation where he was Program Officer for Southern Africa (Environment and Development). Dr Murombedzi was responsible for developing and implementing the Foundation's initiative on securing land and resource rights for marginalized constituencies in southern Africa
    Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, Dr Murombedzi was faculty in the Center for Applied Social Sciences (CASS) at the University of Zimbabwe. He taught in the masters program in Tropical Resource Ecology and carried out research on land reform and the macro and micro-political dynamics of natural resources management in southern Africa's communal tenure regimes.
    Dr Murombedzi brings to IUCN more than 15 years of experience as an academic, researcher, administrator and manager in the field of environment and development. He has served on international environment and natural resources management boards, including the Conservation and Development Forum (CDF) and the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP), and has also served as an advisor to the Biodiversity Support Program.
    During the past decade he has been actively involved with the IUCN and its work on many occasions - including most recently as the Deputy Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environment, Economic and Social Policy. Dr Murombedzi has written and published widely on decentralization, land reform and natural resources management in southern Africa.
    The appointment of Dr Murombedzi follows the departure of Dr Yemi Katerere in March who has since joined the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) as the Assistant Director General.
    (IUCNROSA Press Release May 2003)

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    March 2003 NEWS

    ARMED CONFLICT AND THE ENVIRONMENT - IUCN STATEMENT
    Gland, Switzerland, 21 March 2003 (IUCN) - IUCN - The World Conservation Union - has had many occasions in its 55 years of existence to take public positions concerning military activity, conflict and sustainable development. It does so again today because we find ourselves confronted with events whose impact could undermine sustainability long into the future. IUCN has followed with increasing concern the armed conflict in Iraq. Along with individuals and organizations worldwide, we seek to weigh the arguments on all sides of the issue, to understand better what is at stake, and to identify a contribution, however small, that IUCN might make towards resolving the present predicament and averting the humanitarian and environmental tragedy that would inevitably follow from war. We feel that, with our commitment to a sustainable future for humanity, we cannot sit silently on the sidelines. The international community has many instruments that make reference to armed conflict and the environment, including Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions which prohibits the use of methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment. The Protocol also requires that care be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment against widespread, long-term and severe damage. This protection includes a prohibition of the use of methods or means of warfare which are intended or may be expected to cause such damage to the natural environment and thereby to prejudice the health or survival of the population. It also prohibits attacks against the natural environment by way of reprisals. In addition to the Protocol just mentioned, States - at the recently held World Summit on Sustainable Development - reaffirmed their commitment to the Rio Declaration, which recognizes that warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. Principle 24 continues that "States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary." (See Annex I for selected extracts of relevant international treaties and instruments). IUCN has for decades been at the forefront of the movement to protect environmental resources from damage in times of conflict. It is the sponsor of numerous official texts concerning the key role of conserving nature and managing natural resources in furthering sustainable development. One of these texts, the World Charter for Nature adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, also addresses the environmental impact of armed conflict. The IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, in cooperation with the International Council for Environmental Law, has reviewed existing international environmental law concerning the protection of the environment, also in times of armed conflict. In the Draft Covenant on Environment and Development of 1995 (updated in 2000), the Commission included Draft Article 32 on 'Military and Hostile Activities' I. Also see the Reference Material to accompany IUCN Statement and for more information visit the website at www.iucn.org.

    ANOTHER CBNRM PROJECT BY KALAHARI CONSERVATION SOCIETY - MAPANDA CONSERVATION TRUST
    Lepokole Hills are situated approximately 30 km northeast of Bobonong, in the Bobirwa Sub district. They are attractive scenery with archaeological sites, rock paintings and appealing geographical features with potential for tourist's attractions. The well-preserved habitats, archaeological sites, scenic beauty and many interesting features give Lepokole Hills an enormous potential to develop into a tourist attraction. The tourism potential for the area is further enhanced by the project's proximity to the Tuli Block - a wildlife rich area further to the east. A number of tourists already visit the area from the nearby town of Selebi-Phikwe.
    The neighbouring community to these hills is Lepokole village. Lepokole is a Remote Area Dweller Settlement (RAD) with an estimated population of 500 - 700 people originally of Basarwa descent. Like all RADs settlements, Lepokole is characterised by poor socio-economic conditions and lack of employment and income generating opportunities in the village, and therefore susceptible to high rural - urban migration. The aim therefore is to engage in a Community Based Natural Resource Management Project by way of managing the land resources in and around Lepokole Hills for and on behalf the National Museum and Art Gallery. Through carefully balancing tourism and conservation, while emphasizing ecological sustainability and restoring habitats, new economic opportunities would be created and the quality of life of the local people improved. By not altering the integrity of the ecosystem the historical diversity of life would retain the attractiveness of the Lepokole community. Through the facilitation of Kalahari Conservation Trust and the Bobirwa Sub District Reference Group, a trust by the name Mapanda Conservation Trust was developed and officially registered in January 2002. In addition to that, Tourism Management and Business Plans have been development (through the assistance of Landflow Consultants) and approved. The Tourism Management and Development Plan advises on the way in which tourism and tourism facilities could be developed to benefit the community and better safeguard the wildlife, cultural, historical and most importantly archaeological interests in the hills, as well as to determine the viability of the intended tourism project. Mapanda Conservation Trust is a new emerging CBNRM project with potential.
    (By KCS March 2003)

    KCS - ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION OFFICER
    Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS) has a new Environmental Education Officer. His name is Mr. Herbert Kebafetotse. Herbert has been attending a WWF ZEP Training of Trainers course in Environmental Education which took place in Kabwe, Zambia from 1 - 31 March 2003.

    SADC REGIONAL PROGRAMME FOR RHINO CONSERVATION MEETING OF RHINO RANGE STATES AND CONSORTIUM OPENS IN MAUN, BOTSWANA
    A SADC regional Programme for Rhino Conservation has began today in Maun, Botswana, with the aim of updating stakeholders on progress of the SADC rhino programme to date and activities in ranges states, particularly reintroduction projects e.g. in Botswana and Zambia. The three-day meeting also aims to review and identify regional needs for rhino conservation, review proposals for new projects within range states and across the region, and draft plans of action for funding of projects by the programme for the next 12 months. There will be presentations from Range State Focal Points who are based in Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. The presentations will touch on metapopulation management of rhinos, ownership and allocation of rhinos, models and issues and the use of software tools for rhino conservation.
    Of interest will be a discussion to explore possibilities of partnering with NGOs, the private sector and Rhino Management Authorities and discuss contractual arrangements for rhino conservation areas. IUCN ROSA co-ordinates the SADC Rhino Programme at various levels. The programme is implemented through a regional consortium which comprises the Wildlife Sector Technical Co-ordinating Unit of SADC, IUCN-ROSA (The World Conservation Union - Regional Office for Southern Africa) - The IUCN Species Survival Commission's African Rhino Specialist Group, WWF-SARPO - (World wide Fund for Nature - Southern Africa Regional Programme Office) and CESVI (Cooperazione e Sviluppo). Four SADC countries namely; Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia are in the SADC Rhino Recovery Group (RRG) together with individual representatives from the IUCN Species Survival Commission (African Rhino Specialist Group) and the SADC Rhino Management Group. One of the key objectives of the SADC Regional Rhino Programme is to assist present and former range states with re-establishing viable rhino populations by using expertise and rhinos from the other SADC countries that have established rhino conservation programmes. The SADC RRG countries will be the main beneficiaries of this input.(March 11, 2003) http://www.iucnrosa.org.zw/

    IUCN TO GUIDE AWARENESS GENERATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES FOR WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
    Southern Africa faces many challenges in the successful development and implementation of Water Demand Management (WDM) strategies. WDM studies done under the IUCN ROSA's Regional WDM project, hosted by the South Africa IUCN Office, indicate inadequate understanding of what WDM is and the associated benefits as one of the key challenges facing southern Africa. This challenge has, among other things, often resulted in the region's inability to create the requisite social and institutional environment for the implementation of WDM. In its effort to promote the adoption of WDM as a means to support sustainable water resources management in countries and institutions of southern Africa, IUCN has mobilised water and communication experts from southern Africa to develop guidelines for generating awareness and developing local WDM implementation strategies. The main purpose of the guidelines is to assist in creating awareness on WDM among specific target groups and to assist the implementers in developing integrated WDM implementation strategies in different social and institutional contexts. During their first meeting this week, the experts established a common vision for the guidelines and defined target users, audiences and a content framework. The experts have also worked out a preliminary implementation strategy and approach. The awareness guidelines are required to motivate and assist all institutional stakeholders in generating awareness of WDM among the stakeholders at different levels of water management and use. This will be done through 'selling' the relevance and benefits of WDM implementation at each specific level of water management and use. This component will be developed with a view to change behaviour and will therefore address the incentives for adopting and promoting WDM. Key aspect of the guidelines will be examples or case studies, facts and figures that demonstrate the value of sound WDM.
    The implementation guidelines will focus on developing a framework that will assist implementers to formulate their own ('local') WDM implementation strategies. The framework will consider the social (including political), economic, technical (engineering and environmental) and institutional (including operational) aspects of WDM implementation. The IUCN project on WDM hopes to increase awareness of WDM amongst politicians, professionals and role players in the water supply chain and to collect and disseminate sound information on WDM and assess the benefits accruing. The project also seeks to improve the capacity of technical, educational and policy professionals to promote and implement WDM. In addition, under this project IUCN is documenting the application and testing of WDM measures in pilot case study areas and support the implementation of guidelines in different sectors in selected countries of the region. To date, four main project components have been developed to meet the above objectives. These include five Country studies, which have been completed, six Research studies, (five are complete), three analytical papers (two are complete while the third is underway), sets of Guidelines (to be informed by all project outputs to date) and a tertiary training module (aimed at post graduate students as well as water professionals). The WDM Phase II project is being funded by Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and aims to promote the adoption of efficient, equitable, integrated and sustainable approaches to water resources management in southern Africa.
    (IUCNROSA website March 6, 2003); Related story: Mauritius Government Ministers Endorse Water Demand Management Country Study, September 25, 2002; http://www.iucnrosa.org.zw/news/water.html

    "EVERY RIVER HAS ITS PEOPLE" PROJECT
    The KCS implemented project is on a 17 months extension. There were delays in producing educational materials by the Desert Research Foundation, which are crucial for undertaking the educational and capacity building phases of the project. Training for communities is continuing and it has covered organized resource groups, major village institutions and schools in selected villages around the project area. The project team had also guided the Desert Research Foundation staff to Ngamiland school visits observing actual teaching in Botswana and also took the Basinwide forum members to a training workshop from 1st - 4th Dec. 2002, Windhoek Namibia. Basinwide forum members also had an opportunity to meet with OKACOM commissioners and discussed strategies for collaboration. More information can be accessed from the project web-site: www.everyriver.com

    A NEW ERA FOR PROTECTED AREAS
    "The concepts and structures that guided the development of protected areas in the 20th century are inadequate for the challenges of the 21st. Constituencies and purposes are rapidly changing, and if such areas are to have a significant place in Southern Africa's future politico-economic map these changes must be addressed," stressed participants at a recent workshop on communities, equity and protected areas. The Vth IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) to be held in Durban, South Africa, this September, aims to do just that: take stock of protected areas; provide an honest appraisal of progress and setbacks; and chart the course for protected areas over the next decade and beyond. Drawing on Southern Africa's extensive experience in community-based natural resource management, the workshop, which was held in Pretoria, South Africa, in preparation for the WPC, endorsed adding a governance dimension to the IUCN system of protected area categories and thus enhancing the legitimacy and recognition of Community Conserved Areas and Co-Managed Protected Areas. Participants noted that the active involvement of those living in and around protected areas can enhance conservation and livelihoods. They also recommended that protected area goals and governance structures be reviewed to achieve this synergy and further developed on the basis of negotiated formal agreements between parks management and relevant communities regarding reciprocal responsibilities and benefits. The workshop was sponsored by the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS); the Africa Resources Trust (ART); the IUCN CEESP Theme on Indigenous and Local Communities, Equity and Protected Areas; Siemenpuu Foundation (Finland) and the Ford Foundation, and attended by key professionals from the region.

    Related links: PLAAS: http://www.cbnrm.uwc.ac.za; Africa Resources Trust: http://www.art.org.zw; TILCEPA (IUCN CEESP Theme on Indigenous and Local Communities, Equity and Protected Areas) http://www.iucn.org/themes/ceesp/Wkg_grp/TILCEPA/TILCEPA.htm; TILCEPA page on Community Conserved Areas http://www.iucn.org/themes/ceesp/Wkg_grp/TILCEPA/community.htm; Siemenpuu Foundation, Finland : http://www.siemenpuu.org; Ford Foundation: http://www.fordfound.org/; CBNRM in Southern Africa http://www.cbnrm.uwc.ac.za;

    IMPROVED NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS NEEDED
    Southern Africa environmentalists are calling for improved community-based natural resources management systems to ensure communities benefit from natural resources surrounding them. The environmentalists made the call in South Africa at a recent preparatory workshop for the Fifth World Parks Congress to be held in the same country later this year. It was noted that communities in the region have watched helplessly for a long time while outsiders plunder resources next to them. The participants, who also included academics, called for new models of protected areas such as national parks to ensure that communities benefit from such resources. Research has already established that as one moves closer to resource-rich protected areas, the degree of poverty gets sharper. This shows that communities settled around such natural resource-rich areas are being denied benefits from resources that are just a stone's throw away. While neighbouring communities do not have money to engage in big tourism ventures, wealthy city dwellers and foreign-owned companies generate millions of dollars annually from tourism businesses they run in and around national parks. Yet this relationship has often resulted in a conflict between the surrounding communities and those managing the parks, as the people demanded a share of the natural resources. Ford Foundation programme officer Mr James Murombedzi said southern African communities were alienated from the resources they used to manage well by colonialism.
    "It must take post-colonial governments to rethink on whether to go back to pre-colonial conservation methods," said Mr Murombedzi. "Colonialism wanted to establish order, but environmental historians say this actually disturbed the good management of resources by communities." What is needed in the region is to convince world leaders and national park managers to allow disadvantaged communities settled next to parklands to start deriving benefits from their rich diversity. This is the message that the southern African region will carry to the Fifth World Parks Congress to agitate for a new order that will ensure rural communities benefit from natural resources around them. But concern was raised on how the devolution of power and responsibility to manage benefits from natural resources from the state and individuals to lower structures was to be achieved. "The problem surrounding devolution of authority over resources to local communities probably constitutes the single biggest problem facing the southern African region," said Southern Africa Sustainable Use Group chairman Mr Brian Jones. "Methods that work need to be put in place to ensure that this is achieved for the benefit of all those involved." The workshop participants recommended that to go around the problem, local institutions and communities must be empowered by statutory instruments that protect them if they are to have a role in conservation of natural resources.
    This will lead to new and innovative models for protected areas based on co-management of natural resources with communities. The other vexing issue was on how communities will benefit from natural resources in conservancies that are mostly viewed as private property.
    Conservancies are a recent development formed following the pulling together of resources and land by freehold farmers to form large wildlife sanctuaries. It was noted there has already been a conflict surrounding the issue of conservancies in Zimbabwe, with local communities venting their frustration by invading the areas, demanding a share of the natural resources.
    The concept of conservancies began to emerge in Zimbabwe following efforts by the then Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management to develop breeding areas for the black rhino in safe sanctuaries. According to the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, there are at least 24 conservancies on freehold land in that country covering at least four million hectares. In South Africa, freehold conservancies were promoted by the Natal Parks Board to facilitate water catchment conservation through encouraging groups of farmers to monitor the impact of their land management practices on the health of river systems. While some participants said owners of conservancies should not share resources with surrounding communities because they are private properties, others said that should not be the case. "We need new mechanisms to ensure that we avoid conflicts in conservancies by making sure there is a partnership between farmers and communities that is beneficial to both sides," said Africa Resources Trust director Dr Cecil Machena.
    "Wildlife is very much of a public resource and people view it in that way. We need clear mechanisms to ensure everyone benefits." The promotion of equity in sharing resources, whether in conservancies or any other protected areas, was seen as the only way to ensure there is no conflict between communities and those who manage such areas. The major recommendation to come out of the workshop was the need for new and innovative models of management of natural resources to ensure local communities benefit. These new forms of management must aim at ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources. The southern African region will present some of its recommendations at the Fifth World Parks Congress in Durban in September.
    (by Lovemore Chikova Zimbabwe Herald Newspaper, March 4, 2003. Visit their site on www.herald.co.zw)

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    February 2003 NEWS

    PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE MEETS ON CBNRM
    Environmental organisations (IUCN, Kalahari Conservation Society and Thusano Lefatsheng) on behalf of the National CBNRM Forum met with Members of Parliament on the 11th of February 2003 in the Gaborone International Convention Centre to brief them on Community-based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).
    The Committee on Agriculture and Environment, made up of the honourable Mr Ambrose Masalila, Mr. Ronald Sebego (Chairman), Mr. James Maruatona, Mr. Kebadire Kalake and Mr. Pono Moatlhodi, was interested in the progress made in the implementation of CBNRM projects in Botswana. The NGOs in their turn wanted to rally support to have the CBNRM Policy (in draft form for some years now) passed by Parliament.
    Mr Felix Monggae of KCS emphasised the value of CBNRM as a natural resources conservation tool. The aim of the programme is to build the capacity of communities to conserve - meaning to use in a sustainable manner - the natural resources that surround them. It was stressed that this practice is a benefit to the nation as the communities conserve in this way the country's resources for future generations. It was explained that living with natural resources (such as wildlife) brings along costs (e.g. destroyed crops, restricted development opportunities) and that these costs need to be compensated by allowing communities to benefit from the natural resources.
    Mr Monggae summarised the benefits of CBNRM for Government Departments (improved management of natural resources) and the benefits for communities (income, jobs, skill development, decreased dependency on Government hand-outs). He also counteracted the statement that wildlife as a national resource should be treated as diamonds. 'Wildlife is a renewable resource. When properly managed it multiplies. Communities can do that very well provided their benefits exceed the costs. This benefits the nation as a whole'. Diamonds are not renewable. Their extraction leaves an empty hole in the ground. It is only fair that minerals benefit the entire nation and not a single community as no management costs are incurred to protect the resource as is the case with wildlife, forests, fish and grass.
    Presented case studies showed that CBNRM projects are slowly spreading over the entire country. Mrs. Masego Madzwamuse from IUCN explained that CBNRM projects are not limited to wildlife but could be built on veld products and tourism. Especially in the latter case it was acknowledged that community-managed tourism projects offer excellent opportunities for Batswana to develop skills to become involved in the tourism sector. Untapped tourism potential exists in eastern and southern Botswana. The organisations involved in CBNRM were encouraged to expand their activities over the whole of Botswana. There was agreement that the necessary financial resources should be made available for that to happen.
    Miss Francina Nkani explained the efforts of communities, NGOs and Government departments to ensure a sustainable use of veld products. This is done by undertaking resource inventories (which resources are available?); by making management plans (in what way are resources used?); and by introducing quota systems and proper harvesting techniques (for example how much sengaparile can be harvested in a sustainable way in a certain area)?
    It was acknowledged that CBNRM is a community capacity-building programme that can not progress without communities making mistakes along the way. It is up to Government extension departments and the NGOs to ensure that communities learn from their mistakes and improve. It was also acknowledged that time and financial resources should be made available to facilitate this process. It was further said that having a policy in place is vital for Government to give guidance to all stakeholders in the implementation of CBNRM. A policy would also encourage investments in CBNRM by the private sector and international donors.
    Miss Mercy Motladiile from KCS emphasised that Botswana has signed international conventions such as the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) obliging the country to uphold certain standards in natural resources management. One of these standards, Miss Motladiile explained, is the sustained involvement of local communities and their knowledge in the management of natural resources. CBNRM, she argued, is the ideal approach of incorporating the international natural resources management standards Botswana has pledged to adhere to. For this to happen in a structured way a national CBNRM Policy is very necessary. For more information please visit the CBNRM website at www.cbnrm.bw
    (Press-Release, Article supplied by the National CBNRM Forum)

    DIVUNDU HYDRO POWER PROJECT, EASTERN CAPRIVI
    The Namibian power company, NamPower, has called for tenders for a pre-feasibility study of the hydroelectric potential at Popa Falls on the Okavango River in eastern Caprivi (tender NPWR/2002/44). The investigation revives a preliminary feasibility investigation that was carried out in 1969. The 1969 study suggested that a weir be built either on Popa Falls or a short distance upstream. The weir would be between 6 and 8 metres high, and water would be diverted via either a headrace canal or pipeline to a turbine below the falls. The station has an estimated rating of between 20 and 30 MW. There will be no water abstraction, but there will be some regulation of the seasonal flows. Figure 2 is a plan showing alternative sites for the location of the weir.
    The environmental effects of the proposed weir are a source of grave concern. The most significant effect will arise from the impoundment of the river sediment by the weir. Approximately 100 000 cubic metres of sand are brought into the Panhandle portion of the Okavango swamps each year. This sediment is vital to the functioning of the ecosystem. The Okavango Delta is located in a region of high evapotranspirational water loss, and some 98% of the annual flood water plus local rain water is lost to the atmosphere each year. Dissolved salts locally accumulate to toxic levels, particularly on islands in the seasonal and permanent swamps. These swamps are fed by a network of channel systems, which distribute the water and sediment supplied by the Okavango River. Channels leak water, but retain the sand. As a consequence, channels have a limited life, and become less efficient in transporting water as sand accumulates, and eventually they fail and are abandoned. New channels form elsewhere in response. This process results in the periodic desiccation of flooded areas, as water shifts elsewhere. During these periods of desiccation, rain flushes out the toxic salts that have accumulated in soils in affected areas, resulting in ecosystem renewal. Peat, which has accumulated around the failed channels, dries and burns off, adding valuable nutrients to the generally impoverished Delta soils. In this way, the constant shifting of channels surface spreads nutrients and salts evenly over the very large surface of the Delta.
    The sandy sediment is a vital component in the ecosystem, because it forces constant change, resulting in continuous ecosystem renewal. This constant change also means that climax vegetation communities seldom appear. Rather, the Delta remains a mosaic of communities in different developmental or successional states. It is this dynamism that is responsible for the wide diversity of habitats found in the Okavango Delta, and the fact that in spite of the very high evapotranspirational water loss, the surface water is always fresh.
    Removal of the bedload sediment will threaten this dynamism. Rough calculations based on two of the suggested weir designs indicate that sandy sediment will be cut off for a period of between 130 and 200 years. During this time massive erosion will occur downstream, probably in the Panhandle region of the Delta. After this period, sand will again flow the past the weir, and will begin to fill the eroded sections, which will take a further 130 to 200 years to complete. The immediate effects of weir construction will therefore be felt for several centuries. It is difficult to predict what the knock-on effects will be downstream in the Delta itself, but whatever they are, it is clear they will last for a long time. It is possible that the process of channel failure and abandonment will be significantly retarded, reducing the rate of ecosystem renewal. This could cause the Delta to become moribund, with a reduced diversity of habitats, and could also promote excessive toxic salt accumulation. Salinization of portions of the swamps could result.
    Because the sandy sediment is so vital to the functioning of the ecosystem, no structure that will inhibit its movement into the Delta should ever be constructed. Further information regarding this matter can be found in Ellery WN and McCarthy TS, "Principles for the sustainable utilization of the Okavango Delta ecosystem, Botswana. Biological Conservation, v 70, 159-168, 1994.
    General information and references on the Okavango Delta may be found at http://www.wits.ac.za/science/geology/okavango/index.htm
    (article by Prof T S McCarthy,)

    BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA DISAGREE OVER POWER PLANT
    The proposed Popa Falls power plant has been rejected by Botswana participants at a consultation meeting convened by high-ranking Namibian officials. The opponents of the project who are mainly proprietors of Safari companies expressed fears that the plant would destroy the Okavango Delta. The general manager of Nampower and the leader of the project told the participants "if there are some concerns that we can not mitigate, we will not continue with the project. We will be transparent and if this project is not feasible we will look at other options". One senior official responding to the scepticism and reservations about the project said if Botswana can prove scientifically that the Okavango Delta is threatened, then the project will be abandoned. The Namibian officials briefed the meeting about the preliminary assessment study, which was meant to make recommendations on whether the proposed project is technically, economically and environmentally feasible. Some potential impacts identified in the preliminary impact assessment (PEA) include employment, displacement of people, flooding, altered flow regimes and aesthetic impacts. The PEA also called for a public participation process, consultation with authorities and written submissions. ECOSURV has been contracted to conduct public meetings in Botswana and introduce the project proposal and environmental study.
    (Mmegi, 14-20 February 2003, pp. 4)

    EHF DEEPENS CONSERVATION IN BOTSWANA
    The board and management of the Environmental Heritage Foundation (EHF) of Botswana say they are determined to foster environmental conservation in Botswana. The foundation says it appreciates the contribution made by "EHF Friends", a voluntary composition of conservationists who wish to donate time, ideas and other material resources in support of EHF activities. The foundation wants to see its vision of "adequate and sustainable financing for Environment Conservation 2016", through. Strategic objectives of EHF, in its endeavour to see the vision through include: institutional strengthening, funding of community environmental conservation projects, and incorporating investment strategies. According to the press statement, strategic decisions taken by the board in preparation of this year highlight pertinent issues of the development of a head office building in Gaborone and lobbying government funding for environmental conservation especially through the "Policy Guidelines for Financial Support to NGOs".
    (Mmegi, 14-20 February 2003, pp. 12)

    BOTS PILOTS REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMME
    Like elsewhere in Africa, those most vulnerable to poverty in Botswana often live in areas of the worst environmental degradation. To tackle this environmental problem, Botswana has joined hands with Kenya and Mali under a five-year project overseen by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project is entitled Management of Indigenous Vegetation for the rehabilitation of degraded Rangelands in the Arid Zone of Africa, or in short Indigenous Vegetation Project. It is meant to empower rural communities to reverse environmental degradation and restore biodiversity within their areas. This will enable the communities to use natural resources in a sustainable manner to improve their livelihoods. The project started in 2002 and is expected to be completed in 2007. The project sites all share the common challenges of highly variable and unpredictable rainfall, with pronounced dry seasons and recurrent droughts. At the centre of the project is the decentralisation of management control over natural resources to local communities.
    (Mmegi, 14-20 February 2003, pp. 16)

    IUCN MOZAMBIQUE TO SUPPORT LOCAL NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES
    IUCN Mozambique, through its Environmental and Awareness Fund (EAF) programme, has received funds from the Royal Netherlands Government which will support local initiatives that promote the sustainable management of natural resources through the encouragement of local participation in environmental projects and the raising of awareness through applied training and research. The funds, amounting to more than USD 1.2 million, will be disbursed in three phases, with each phase focusing on a different thematic area.
    The first phase will focus on the dissemination of information and exchange of experiences in innovative methodologies and approaches to sustainable natural resources management.
    The second and third phases will concentrate on training and development of pilot projects as well as empowerment, advocacy, and formulation of policies.
    This will see the creation, publishing and distribution of books and the support of Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) and forestry programmes at local level. The fund will make use of existing channels of communication such as the mass media, in the dissemination of environment information.
    The EAF has been highly relevant in supporting social and environmental development needs in Mozambique. It has promoted the emergence and the strengthening of an environmentally aware civil society. The resources it has provided have helped in addressing environmental challenges, build capacities, empower existing and emerging institutions, raise awareness and helped in the dissemination of environmental information in the country and across borders.
    For more information you can contact Caroline Gwature at carolineg@iucnrosa.org.zw
    (IUCN Mozambique).

    TOURISM POTENTIAL IN BOTSWANA IS ENORMOUS
    In recognition of the importance of the tourism sector of Botswana, a Tourism Master Plan was formulated in 2000 to guide the future growth of the industry. From the Master Plan a National Eco-tourism Strategy (NES) intended to accelerate the pace of diversification of the tourism industry, has been developed. The NES emphasises the importance of eco-tourism. The strategy calls for "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well being of local people". The emphasis is on the utilisation of the country's cultural as well as natural heritage. Some communities seem to have long mastered the concept of eco-tourism though; even before the advent of the NES. The Moremi communities in the Tswapong North constituency have the Moremi Gorge as an example of eco-tourism. "By embarking on this project to develop and promote the Moremi Gorge as an eco-tourism, this community is joining the Department of Tourism in demonstrating to the world that in addition to the wildlife, Botswana has a rich collection of culture and myths, which could be added to the attractions for tourists" the Director of Tourism Department, Thabologo Ndzinge, said. Located some distance from the main village the gorge is indeed a marvel to watch. Breeding colonies of cape vultures nest on the cliffs above the gorge, providing a spectacular sight, especially in the evening. A part from the gorge, the Tswapong Hills are also a historical site. The Moremi Manonnye Conservation Trust recognises that one does not become an eco-tourist simply by having nature at his destination. "We will keep a close eye on those who visit the area to ensure that the environment is conserved and when the project is at its full swing we will have full-time guides to ensure that what visitors get is worth their money".
    (Kutlwano, December 2002, Vol.40, Issue 12, pp 12)

    BIODIVERSITY LOSS CAUSES CONCERN
    The loss of biological diversity is occurring and causing concern throughout the world. Therefore there is a need to promote co-operation between governments, international organisations and the general population, Sakhile Koketso (NCSA Project officer involved in the NBSAP-National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan) told to a full council meeting in Francistown. According to Koketso, indigenous and local communities should maintain control over the biological resources in their territories and lands. She gave the council an overview of the work and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). "The convention calls for the encouragement of traditional use of biological diversity and the respect, preservation and maintenance of the knowledge, innovation and practices of indigenous and local communities" she said. By signing and ratifying the convention Botswana committed itself among other things to: develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources; establish training and research programmes to address the concerns and issues relating to biodiversity; and to take account of issues and concerns relating to biodiversity social, economic and environmental policy and action.
    (Mmegi, 28 February - 6 March 2003, pp. 39)

    REVISITING THE "PROBLEM OF THE BOUNDARIES" IN MANAGING NATURAL RESOURCES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
    It sounded like a great new idea. Avoid heavy-handed central regulation. Divide up Africa. Decentralise management. Establish 'sovereign units.' That was the 'scramble for Africa.' And it worked. Well, for a while. What could have gone wrong with all this? Plenty, as it happens. The setting up of boundaries by colonial powers was driven by ideology, political power and military conquest. Not that ideology, politics or military are terrible things. Just that this method of dividing up Africa gave little consideration to neither physical and ecological features nor cultural linkages of African people. This not only disrupted physical and ecological linkages but also effectively created opposing management and land-use practices. Noting the importance of these issues to natural resource management and community development in Southern Africa, IUCN ROSA has published a book examining the problem of boundaries in managing natural resources. Titled "Transboundary Conflict Management in Southern Africa", the book, interrogates transboundary developments and the extent to which they create new strategic alliances and promote a culture of peace. The publication also examines issues of environmental conflict resolution, procedures for diagnosing conflicts and application of creative problem-solving processes. Using the example of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, shared by Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. the book highlights conflicts associated with the establishment, development and management of this transfrontier park. It presents the process leading to the establishment of the park and discusses existing and potential conflicts emerging from the development. If you are interested in a copy write to carolineg@iucnrosa.org.zw for details on how to access one. Soon a pdf copy will be available for downloading from the web.
    (IUCNROSA for more information you can also visit the website at www.iucnrosa.org.zw/)

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    January 2003 NEWS

    NEW THREAT LOOMS FOR OKAVANGO DELTA
    The Okavango Delta, home to over 100,000 people and the mainstay of Botswana's burgeoning tourist industry, is faced with a serious new threat. The Delta, in its current diverse and dynamic form, will be irreversibly changed for the worse if plans to build a dam at Popa Falls on the Okavango River in Namibia go ahead.
    The Namibian Power Company, NamPower, is investigating the feasibility of generating hydro-electric power by constructing a six to eight metre high dam wall right at the Falls or slightly upstream. Since there will be no offtake of water from the dam, this would seem to be a harmless project which would contribute significantly to development in Namibia. However, it would alter two natural processes that together would have a devastating impact on the Okavango.
    Firstly, the dam will regulate the seasonal flow of water down the Okavango River and into the Delta. The annual floods that are the lifeblood of the Delta would become attenuated, and the vibrant and diverse ecosystem that is driven partly by flooding would stagnate. Although not on the scale of Kariba or Cahora Bassa Dams, the plight of the once productive Zambezi Delta stands as a stark reminder of the negative impacts of hydro-electric schemes on wildlife, wetlands and human welfare. The World Commission on Dams has documented countless similar examples.
    The dam would have a second, less obvious but far more significant, impact - it would trap sediment transported by the river and which is vital to the functioning of the Okavango Delta downstream. Decades of study by the Okavango Research Group, a multi-disciplinary team under the direction of Prof, TS McCarthy, has produced an understanding of the ecological processes driving the Delta dynamics, and the distribution of sediment plays a key role in maintaining the varied and productive nature of this inland oasis.
    Sediment is important in channel evolution. The Okavango River brings water and sediment into the system, and these are distributed throughout the swamps by a network of channels. In Prof. McCarthy's words "The channels leak water, but retain the sand. As a consequence, channels have a limited life, and become less efficient in transporting water as sand accumulates, and eventually they fail and are abandoned. New channels form elsewhere in response …". This constantly shifting allocation of water to different parts of the Delta is, in turn, more important than may seem at first glance. This is because of another interesting feature of the Delta - with the high rate of evapo-transpiration in the region, some 98% of the annual floodwater is lost to the atmosphere each year, leaving the previously dissolved salts in the system. "The dissolved salts locally accumulate to toxic levels, particularly on islands in the seasonal and permanent swamps. As water shifts elsewhere following channel abandonment, rain flushes out the toxic salts from affected areas, resulting in ecosystem renewal. The constant shifting of channels spreads nutrients and salts over the whole Delta" he explains.
    The variety forced on the system by annual floods, changes in channel alignment, as well as other natural factors such as island formation and fire, result in the Okavango Delta being a highly productive bio-diversity hotspot. The construction of even a small dam could cause the Delta to gradually become moribund - parts of it would be sterilised by salt accumulation. Prof McCarthy concludes "Because the sandy sediment is so vital to the functioning of the ecosystem, no structure that will inhibit its movement into the Delta should ever be constructed".
    In this new era of sustainable development, human beings are striving to achieve livelihoods that do not disrupt our life support systems, but rather are in harmony with nature. Does this project represent a step in the right direction? It may be that NamPower is only making a very preliminary investigation into the feasibility of the scheme. However, its potentially far-reaching consequences demand that it be regarded as the most serious threat the Okavango has faced this century.
    "The Okavango is like a reflection in a pond - beautiful to behold. Grasp it, and it disappears". (By Pete Hancock pete@info.bw January 2003)

    UN LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FRESHWATER
    Endeavouring to raise awareness and promote action on managing and protecting clean water resources, the United Nations has launched the International Year of Freshwater and declared 2003 International Year of Freshwater. The General Assembly proclaimed the International Year in December 2000, following the 2000 Millennium Declaration by world leaders, who pledged to reduce by half the proportion of people who are unable to reach, or to afford, safe drinking water by 2015. According to the UN, 1.2 billion people are without access to freshwater and 2.4 billion lack proper sanitation. More than 3 million die each year from diseases caused by unsafe water.
    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan underscored the importance of improving stewardship of water resources, stating "Let us use the knowledge and technology at our disposal and do our utmost to protect the world's precious resources - our lifeline for survival and sustainable development in the 21st century." UN Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, said the main goals for the Year would be to raise awareness, create a platform for creativity with regard to new ideas, technologies and arrangements, and increase participation throughout all segments and levels of society.
    As part of the Year's observances, in January 2003 the UN will issue the first edition of the World Water Development Report, a joint effort involving 23 UN agencies and other entities that provides a comprehensive view of today's water problems and offers recommendations for meeting future water demand. For further information you can visit the International Year of Freshwater website http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=5640&Cr=freshwater&Cr1
    (Linkages Update, a fortnightly e-update of what's new on IISD's Linkages website. January 2003)

    KRS, SNDT RECEIVES CANADIAN ASSISTANCE
    Canada's High Commissioner to Botswana, John Schram, has presented the Khama Rhino Sanctuary Trust (KRST) with P72.555. The envoy also handed over another P52.114 to the Serowe North Development Trust (SNDT). The grants are made available through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. This is a small grants fund administered by World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in Gaborone and funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Monies form this grant will be used to purchase furniture and office equipment for the Sanctuary's newly constructed Environmental Education Centre. The Centre's purpose is to educate students, both Batswana and international, about local and global environmental issues through hands-on activities. " Environmental sustainability is an essential part of long-term development. The incredible diversity of wildlife in Botswana is certainly a resource worth protecting" said Schram. The Canada Fund supports the self-help initiatives of non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, cooperatives and organised groups in Botswana. It's objective is to support small projects by providing technical, economic, educational and/or social development assistance to the local populations.
    (Mmegi, 31st January-6th February 2003, pg. B20)

    FUND CUT HAMPERS UNDP
    UN resident co-ordinator to Botswana, Bjorn Forde, says the UNDP is faced with a financial crisis as its fund has been cut by half. The cut could be attributed to failure by some member countries to pay their contributions to the world body, thus hindering it from carrying out new and old development projects. Ford said even though the status quo puts pressure on UNDP to deliver on its mandate, they would do everything to increase networking and knowledge. He said UN systems would "find the right place where we can deliver good ideas and link up to help Botswana achieve Vision 2016 aspirations." The resident co-ordinator also asked what UNDP was expected to do and what resources would be available to make the NEPAD goals a reality. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Merafhe, pointed out that there will be some countries that would it find difficult to be part of NEPAD as it requires amongst others good governance, transparency and the rule of law and that NEPAD was not an institution but a programme managed by the African Union.
    (Daily News, January 29th 2003, pg.1)

    NETWORKING AFRICA'S FUTURE: LESSONS OF EMPOWERMENT FROM COMMUNITIES
    Acacia Conference to be held at Kwa Maritane, South Africa from 13-16 April 2003. The conference promises to close the loop between research and practice, revealing what has actually been achieved in Africa using information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development. It will focus on key emerging themes such as alleviating poverty through ICTs, schoolnets, telecentres, policy issues and innovation. Entitled "Networking Africa's Future", the event will be held in rural South Africa at the Kwa Maritane game lodge, and will feature a state-of-the-art Internet satellite system as the platform for a website covering the discussions. Speakers will address African-specific and international issues related to information communication technologies and development, while delegates will have the opportunity to have "seven minutes of fame" during the plenary sessions to describe the concrete results they have had in the field to alleviate poverty or improve development infrastructures in this regard. The final objective of the conference is to stimulate thinking about ICTs in Africa and to recommend new research avenues. Acacia is a Pan-African programme of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), supporting research on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development. Website: For information and bookings, a local Acacia website has been created at www.acacia.org.za. Go there to sign up for attendance. In the coming weeks, additional information such as the agenda and the list of speakers will be added to this site. Venue: Kwa Maritane Bush lodge is situated in the North West province of South Africa; 2 hours drive from Johannesburg, and 8km from Sun City. Simultaneous interpretation French/English will be provided during the entire conference. Conference co-ordinator : Julie Atkinson Email: Julie Atkinson at info@acacia.org.za Kwa Maritane Website : www.legacyhotels.co.za

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    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

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    Last Updated:June, 2003
    Please e-mail comments, questions to cathrine@iucnbot.bw