The Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS) has devolved a new five-year strategy to overcome challenges associated with population growth, human development and globalization since inception in 1982, the Chairman, Neil Fitt, has said.
Addressing members attending KCS’ 30th Annual General Meeting held in Gaborone recently, Fitt said the Society’s implementation of the five-year strategy would not only empower it to review its biodiversity, conservation and ecosystem management objectives, but also capacitate it to implement trans-boundary and other large-scale projects in natural resource management (NRM).
Fitt said that for instance, by nature of Botswana’s landlocked position, KCS could forge “partnership in applying proposed methodologies between Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), South Africa Endangered Wildlife Trust (SEWT) and Lesotho Transformation Resource Centre (LTRC). Furthermore, the Global Water Partnership of Southern Africa (GWPSA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Orange-Senqu Community Projects (ORESECOM) will be parties in the implementation. The world conservation body (IUCN) will be the overall coordinator of the project and will provide technical support and guidance to the project partners. The role of KCS would be to collect information at local level (in Botswana) and implement community based actions in a gender sensitive manner.
“The new draft strategy further encourages continuance in providing professional and independent advice to all stakeholders through acceptable and ethical approaches employed over the years.”
According to the Chairman, the ORASECOM project involves applying the ecosystem approach commences in July 2012 under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsorship. The goal is to build governance capacity through mainstreaming the ecosystem approach into the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in ORASECOM, based on an innovative methodology structured around three key objectives of increasing knowledge, demonstrating its use and then using the information through dialogue and consensus building.
Fitt said during 2011, KCS hosted the Community Based Natural Resources Management Projects (CBNRM) under the World Wild Life Foundation (WWF) sponsorship and made an exchange visit to Namibia with Botswana’s Minister of Environment, Wildlife & Tourism Kitso Mokaila.
KCS’ Project Management Unit (PMU) is facilitating the Botswana/UNDP IWRM December 2009 to 2012 based on the Botswana National Master Water Plan (BNMWP) of 2006.Since commencement, the Project has enabled the country to gauge preparedness towards safe water provision.
From 2007, the government has drilled 38 boreholes in the Makgadikgadi National Park (MNP) Khutse, Central Kgalakgadi Game Reserve (CKGR), Kgalakgadi Trans-frontier Park (KTP), Chobe National Park and surrounding reserves, to ensure the adequate supply of water in the country’s national parks and game reserves. The strategy was designed to avoid crowding of both game and tourist along rivers and water holes.
Fitt announced the USAID Southern Africa Regional Environmental Programme has signed with KCS a five-year project at P1 million per annum to impart land, ecotourism and wild life conservation skills to communities in the Okavango basin. As a result of sponsorship from the Future of the Okavango, KCS will be sending a member of its staff to study for MSc in Germany in October 2012.
KCS’ other upcoming projects include the Barclays Bank Sponsored Craft Entrepreneurship, Human Wildlife Conflict Management, Community Trust Fund Awareness, Botswana National Baseline study for the Kalahari-Namib, and Resilience in the Limpopo Basin Programme.
“With 15 staff involved in environmental awareness, we encourage corporate to consider funding our environmental education to reach out to the younger generations securing our environmental heritage as they are our future. We also need to impress the consequences of our declining wildlife populations in both urban and remote areas where wildlife and natural resources co-exist,” he said.
The formation of KCS in 1982 was a result of visionary aspirations of the former Debswana Managing Director, the late Louis Nchindo, and Chris Adams who sparked the idea during a tour of Botswana to establish a natural heritage for the conservation of the country’s biodiversity for the education and awareness of present and future generations. The duo had realized that few Batswana and people around the world were aware of the wealth of wild life in Botswana and how they were in danger of disappearing, given the rapid development process.