Friday, September 15, 2006

BIOKAVANGO Project is official

The HOORC project, Building Local Capacity for the Conservation and Sustainable use of Biodiversity in the Okavango Delta (BIOKAVANGO), was officially launched at Crocodile Camp on the banks of the Thamlakane River in Maun on the 14th of September 2006.

Representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, UNDP, Ngamiland District, the private sector and HOORC community witnessed the the birth of BIOKAVANGO, which will support the elaboration and implementation of the Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP) through lifting barriers to mainstreaming biodiversity conservation objectives. These barriers include a systemic and institutional capacity deficit for wetland management, conflicts over access to wetland resources between user groups, weak management of knowledge needed to guide decision making from the local user level to regulatory authorities, and absence of voluntary mechanisms and incentives to cultivate private industry involvement in conservation. The project will focus on three production sectors -- water, tourism and fisheries -- all dependent on ecological services and goods provided by the Okavango River.

The project, directed by HOORC researcher Dr Nkobi Moleele, is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and co-funded by the Government of Botswana, World Conservation Union (IUCN), University of Virginia, Kalahari Conservation Society and the tourism private sector in the Delta (OWS, CCA, Ker & Downey, Orient Express, Desert and Delta). The project will run from 2006 to 2010.

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