KCS continues to garner support for projects and environmental partnership programmes, including trans-boundary conservation projects and larger scale initiatives in natural resources management. The Society also provides a voice for environmental conservation in Botswana by highlighting the local economic and indeed global value of Botswana’s environmental resources on the international environmental conservation stage.
With all its great achievements, KCS has had a fair share of challenges over the years; limited resources being the most crucial. Addressing the above issues however, is at the heart of what we do. Lack of resources however impedes our work and emphasises the need support:
- Locally by increasing our membership and corporate sponsorship.
- Internationally through influential, high profile people like yourself, who understand and support our initiatives.
The support that we get towards these causes (especially in terms of visibility for the work that we do) will determine the trajectory of environmental conservation and community wellbeing for now and into the future.
Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) has been in the past and still is today, mainly driven by the ever-increasing number of people on earth and their need for more and more land to feed themselves. In some areas, e.g. northern Botswana, the increasing number of wildlife (mainly elephants), and their need for more space intensifies the problem,s leading to increasing interaction with humans.
This, on a local level, puts pressure for land use change, which in turn drives habitat loss and fragmentation of ecosystems. Often this creates a spiral effect of increased demand for natural resources and their decline. This conflict has led to the extinction of many species worldwide, whereas others have declined to the point of being close to extinction or at best vulnerable. The biodiversity and economic losses are high and, in most cases, becoming non-recoverable.
Botswana and the region are currently facing an increase in HWC, due to many factors, one of which is the increasing number of elephants and their expansion into areas that have not, for over a century, been their normal rangelands. Over the last few years, an array of deterrent methods such as chilli pepper plant fences, chilli bombs, bees, electric predator proof fences and kraals, livestock guard dogs have been used to try to address the problem with varying degrees of success. To date no permanent solutions have been found to protect people and their assets against wildlife damage altogether.
Human Elephant Co-existence is critical to Botswana’s conservation efforts. According to statistics released by the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks in April 2019, poaching has surged since 2016: to at least 100 elephants being killed between April 2017 and April 2018, up from 42 in the same period between 2016 and 2017. The statistics also show an increase in the trafficking of elephant tusks, with 109 seized in 2017-2018, compared to 48 in the same period in 2016-2017.
KCS has therefore, in collaboration with our partners been working on ways to address this issue. Our approach is to lobby government and provide opportunities for dialogue to build upon lessons learned from community engagement on Human Wildlife Conflict and from the nation-wide consultations in support of the development of the Botswana Elephant Management Plan. This involves discussion on a wide range of interventions, proven mitigation techniques and measures from around the region and world, which could be replicated and implemented in, and beyond, Botswana, to bring about sustainable solutions for HWC.
Child to Adult education is seen as one of the best approaches in rural areas, with Environmental Education being essential for mitigating environmental challenges in the medium to long term. However, most communities do not have access to environmental education. Schools lack resources and technical expertise to improve students’ capacity to understand and implement activities that will solve environmental issues. Environmental Awareness and Capacity-Building amongst schools can improve sustainable practices in communities for the benefit of livelihoods and the environment. It is against this background that Botswana developed the National Environmental Education Strategy and Action Plan (NEESAP) in 2015.
KCS is presently working in collaboration with our partners to foster among students a better understanding of the environment as well as the challenges entailed in managing it. We instil in them a sense of mutual responsibility and commitment to the resolution of environmental problems. Environmental education capacitates students to make their own choices for the future.
Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM)
The premise is that if a resource is considered valuable and landholders have exclusive rights to use, benefit and manage the resource then they are likely to use it sustainably. CBNRM aims to strengthen rural economies and empower local communities to manage resources for their long-term social, economic and ecological benefits. CBNRM in Botswana acts together with other national development strategies within the country aimed at poverty reduction as well as efforts towards the conservation of nature.
KCS recognises the importance of ensuring that communities living around protected areas do not only live in harmony with wildlife, but that they economically benefit from the protection of wildlife. CBNRM is based on the concept of a communal property regime under which a defined group of people collectively manages and uses the common property resources within a defined area, further necessitating the development of local institutions that ensure that local people have the power to decide over their natural resources with a minimum of state regulation, thus promoting sustainable development. Should be more emphasis on “Natural Resources and not wildlife”
Our Annual Gala Dinner
Each year we hold an Annual Gala Dinner dance for our members and corporates to promote greater awareness of conservation and environmental challenges facing Botswana. This year, we have high hopes and wish to increase our guest list while also raising awareness on environmental conservation! We would be delighted if you could partner with us and support our work as a Conservation Ambassador for KCS. The simple truth is that our organisation, like any business, cannot continue to work without funding and support.
Bookings can be made directly through our website, simply click on our Donate Now button, and you can book your seat or a full table for your company!