Botswana - BirdLife Botswana (BLB)
Mission of the organisation
To conserve Botswana birds and important bird habitats, by creating awareness, carrying out research and promoting beneficial relationships between birds and people. This is achieved through:
- protecting bird species, sites, habitats and creating opportunities for local communities (particularly youth and women) living near bird areas to earn a meaningful income, and
- increasing interest and awareness among Botswana citizens, especially the youth, in birds.
- Research and monitoring of, and species-specific conservation actions, for globally threatened birds in Botswana
- Monitoring of ‘common birds’, through a Bird Population Monitoring Programme
- Promotion of Important Bird Areas and lobbying for their increased protection
- Working with private companies to ensure reduced impacts of their actions on birds, biodiversity and protected areas, while also seeking their active participation in the conservation of priority threatened species
- Promotion of bird tourism, particularly at Important Bird Areas, as a means to create an incentive for citizens to take interest in the conservation of Botswana’s birds and habitats.
- Environmental education, largely targeting schools and the general public
- Membership activities, aiming to increase the appreciation of birds in Botswana
- Realised countrywide geographic coverage of the Bird Population Monitoring Programme, and increasing number of participants.
- Successfully lobbied for the designation of a Flamingo Sanctuary in the Makgadikgadi Pans, co-managed by local communities and central government (the first co-managed park in Botswana,) to protect the largest breeding colonies of flamingos in southern Africa.
- Launch of a BirdLife Botswana Species Champion scheme through which local companies are investing in conservation of threatened birds.
- Successful implementation of a Global Environment Facility (GEF) Medium Scale Project that implemented several reforms to improve the financial and operational sustainability of Botswana’s protected areas.
- Up-scaling of bird tourism, and wide dissemination of this option to increase the non-consumptive value of birds.
- Implementation of an Environmental Education project that is improving the systemic capacity of teachers and learners on using birds as entry points to ensuring wider uptake and use of environmental education.
- Supporting a staff member to attain a PhD in Conservation Biology, and with other staff being supported to obtain post graduate degrees.
- Launched a successful national campaign to increase awareness on the threats that poisoning poses to vultures, with considerable engagement and influence of government and private sector policy and perception regarding veterinary product management, resolving wildlife-livestock conflict without inadvertently killing vultures, and recognising that vulture poisoning should be considered during development and implementation of anti-poaching strategies.