UNDP support influences policy on management of protected areas in Botswana

Buffalo and birds
Birds are important for monitoring the state of the environment and changes in biodiversity trends and so are an important indicators for conservation. (Photo, GoB)

Until recently, the Southern Sua Pan, an important breeding site for the Lesser flamingo, an endangered bird species in the Makgadikgadi wetland system was like any part of the Botswana’s bird sanctuaries – not protected by law and accessible to all. This posed a significant threat to the survival of the flamingo and its breeding sites, particularly because of its location close to a mining site (Botswana Ash mine) and a tourist destination.

The Strategic Partnerships to Improve Financial and Operational Sustainability of PAs project, implemented by BirdLife Botswana in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Park, and the Department of Environmental Affairs, has led to the declaration of this breeding site a Protected Area (PA). Through the project, discussions with the Government of Botswana were undertaken to discuss the declaration of the area as a flamingo sanctuary.

Highlights

  • The initiative has also influenced the country’s policy discourse around the management of PAs resulting in the review of the Wildlife Conservation Policy.
  • Birds are important for monitoring the state of the environment and changes in biodiversity trends and so are an important indicators for conservation.

The initiative has also influenced the country’s policy discourse around the management of PAs resulting in the review of the Wildlife Conservation Policy to include aspects of collaborative governance (including communities, private sector and other non-government entities) and allow for partnerships in managing PAs to ensure sustainability and equitable sharing of benefits. Birds are also important for monitoring the state of the environment and changes in biodiversity trends and so are an important indicators for conservation.

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