Botswana President welcomes IUCN support for national conservation efforts

07 March 2011 | News story

IUCN’s Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre was received by President Seretse Khama Ian Khama of Botswana recently for a meeting to discuss the country’s conservation activities.

During the meeting, Ms Marton-Lefèvre gave an update on IUCN activities in Botswana at both country and transboundary levels. These include providing support to the Okavango Development Management Plan, the Natural Futures Programme, the Zambezi Basin Wetlands Conservation and Resource Utilization Project, and Community-based Natural Resources Management.

The President described his country’s strategies for managing natural resources in protected areas, emphasizing that they place communities at the centre of conservation and invited IUCN to continue supporting these efforts.

President Khama asked for IUCN’s advice on how the government and the Basarwa people in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve could reach an amicable solution to disputed land rights and resources that is in the interest of both people and nature.

The meeting, joined by IUCN’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr Ali Kaka, and the Head of IUCN’s South Africa Office, Mr Hastings Chikoko, also explored ways of improving transfrontier elephant habitats and ‘corridors’ to ensure the migration of elephants to areas that are sparsely populated. President Khama indicated that culling of elephants should be the last option given that that there are other habitats surrounding Botswana that may benefit from increased elephant population.

Botswana has been a State Member of IUCN since 1991. President Khama is a conservation enthusiast and has championed a number of conservation activities in the country. He is the patron of the Kalahari Conservation Society (an IUCN Member) and a board member of Conservation International, also an IUCN Member.

For more information contact:

Hastings Chikoko, Head of IUCN’s South Africa Office, email: hastings.chikoko@iucn.org