MEET KCS AND OUR VALUES
Our mission is to safeguard Botswana’s environment, through community-focused programmes, integrated management of biodiversity and sustainable use of Botswana’s ecosystem services. This includes four primary drivers:
- Boosting the conservation of transboundary ecosystems and their biodiversity;
- Facilitating empowerment of communities for healthy human wildlife coexistence and socioeconomic development through the sustainable use of natural resources;
- Promoting an improved national capacity to identify and mitigate impacts of climate change for Botswana’s people and ecosystems; and
- Developing and promoting responsible waste management practices, including recycling, and shifting towards a “green lifestyle”.
The landscape in which KCS operates has never been more challenging. Although the organisation has a long and proud history in Botswana, there is an imperative need to strengthen KCS’ foundations and scope. Its programmes must aim for the best use of financial and human capital resources. As articulated in the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 15, conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources cannot be achieved through an isolated approach of protecting ecosystems. Rather, there is a need to embrace sustainability that encourages biodiversity conservation whilst also catering for the needs of human populations through better understanding and sustainable use of ecosystem services.
Although Botswana is a sparsely populated country, this principle nevertheless remains critical. Our Strategic Plan 2018 – 2030, which ties into the UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda time frame, builds on the Society’s successes, and seeks to harness both achievements and lessons learnt from our earlier work and Strategic Plans. We must be cognisant of our current environment but also the opportunities and challenges likely to arise in the next few decades. We must be forward-looking and open to change as it stems from demographic and cultural shifts, competing interest for land, natural resources and the promises of new technologies in our ability to promote principles of sustainability and conservation.
Our Local Focus
KCS is at the moment focusing on two important issues in relation to conservation and empowering communities living close to Protected Areas (PA’s) to sustainably improve their economic status (poverty eradication through Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) and Environmental Education. The work that we do with Communities includes, but is not limited to:
Provision of training to communities for improved skills and capacity, empowerment and livelihood diversification and security.
Environmental education in schools and communities
Research, education/awareness campaigns and community outreach.
Engagement with our stakeholders through dialogue on conservation issues.
Our International Focus
Botswana is presently facing a major challenge with Human Wildlife Conflict, in part created by the our good conservation strategies, which has resulted in an over population of elephants in our country, in part due to conflicts and poaching that have occurred in neighbouring territories and the ever expanding human population and our need to be fed.
It is important that we raise awareness both locally and internationally as part of our endeavour to assist with the resolution of this challenge.
We are so passionate about the work we do, especially with reaching our communities. Our challenges are not simply financial, we need to be given the opportunity to explain our cause and why Botswana is in the process of opening new ways of creating a sustainable future. Our aim is to reach larger audiences across the globe by speaking, educating and opening up our voice to the world. We believe that strong communication and strong education can create strong communities.
What we aim to solve, and how…
The conditions within which KCS has operated have changed drastically in the close to four decades since the organisation’s establishment. Botswana’s recent designation as an upper middle-income country and donor fatigue in the environmental field has led to the organisation adopting an ecosystem approach as a strategic methodology to The Society.
This approach has broadened KCS’s scope of work, allowing KCS to implement trans-boundary projects and be involved in various large-scale regional programmes of natural resources management. Whilst many traditional donors for the environmental sector have left the country to finance programmes elsewhere, environmental conservation in general is now receiving more Government support. However, this is limited and still needs outside bodies like KCS.