The UNDP-GEF supported Sustainable Land-Use Management for Ngamiland Project (SLM Ngamiland) together with Desert and Delta Safari (DDS) company have jointly funded the Peter Smith University of Botswana (PSUB) herbarium’s data mobilization project.
SLM Ngamiland has given 5000Euros while DDS donated 50 000Pula to PSUB at ORI in order to complete the installation of BRAHMS data base. Valuable vegetation data, in the form of plant specimens which have been collected from all over the Okavango Delta and northern Botswana, are held at PSUB herbarium. This reference collection of plant material will now have the data extracted and entered into the Botanical Record and Herbarium Management System (BRAHMS). Having the data in BRAHMS at PSUB will allow floristic information from the Ngamiland region of Botswana to be available to anyone who is interested. PSUB expects to be able to provide vegetation information to, for example: government at regional and national level, environmental managers, development planners, conservationists, farmers interested in the commercial potential of indigenous plants, medicinal and nutritional research and traditional craft producers. The BRAHMS data base will help PSUB protect its core legacy collection of specimens which date from the early 1970s. There are more than 10 000 specimens held at PSUB which represented in some 105 dicotyledonous families and about 34 monocotyledonous families. The entire collection probably represents 1600 species. The exact numbers will be revealed as PSUB’s data base is compiled.
PSUB as part of ORI and the University of Botswana would like to thank both SLM Ngamiland and DDS for their support in this work. We hope this will be the beginning of a healthy partnership between us. We are grateful for the commitment to the environment that both SLM Ngamiland and DDS have shown through their donation to PSUB herbarium. For, in truth, this region of northern Botswana supports both a widespread community of farmers and people living directly off the land as well as the world famous Okavango Delta tourist destination and the 1000th World Heritage site which generates healthy income for Botswana through international tourism. The vegetation of this region is what make all this possible! PSUB herbarium houses a comprehensive collection of plant specimens which represents the floristic diversity of Ngamiland and this data will be securely and thoroughly captured in the BRAHMS database.