Monday, February 04, 2008

“Whose Delta” Dialogue

On Thursday 31 January, the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Biokavango project sponsored a public discussion on the topic of, “Whose delta is it?” at Maun Lodge.

Ownership of the Okavango Delta was debated enthusiastically by a strong panel and a good variety of interested stakeholders. Some points of agreement emerged – the delta belongs to local people in terms of generating benefits for their well-being; to the nation in an economic sense (contribution to GDP); and to the world as part of our natural heritage and its contribution to global biodiversity conservation. Issues of jurisdictional scale and the delta’s natural “flux” are complex, and generated fodder for lively and good-natured debate of the question at hand for up to three hours.

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