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Research vital - Khama

The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) Mr Tshekedi Khama has underscored the importance of research in management of wildlife and natural resources.

Minister Khama, who was officiating at the Botswana Symposium on Wetlands and Wildlife 2015 in Maun on March 16, said government had realised that research was an integral part of natural resources management for research informs action.

He said the department of wildlife and national parks (DWNP) had been involved with various partners in researches to provide guidance on wildlife management. “Botswana as a country is faced with many wildlife challenges such as human-wildlife conflict, home range and threatened species such as elephants and wild dogs.” He said.

However, Minister Khama noted that Botswana had made positive strides in tackling wildlife issues such as poaching. He attributed the achievements to government, which he said had a political will and also those different sectors in the country worked jointly in anti-poaching measures. He stated that unlike Botswana, some countries compromised their wildlife resources to get aid.

He said it was important for platforms such as the symposium to bring changes instead of discussions without results. The symposium, he said, aimed to appreciate natural resources, review researches on the eco-system as well as a platform for natural resources professional to exchange views.

Speaking on the sidelines of the symposium, Minister Khama said although Botswana elephants were the largest population in Africa and the world, he pointed that the problem was not the elephant population.

He said the problem ensued from elephants, which migrated from neighbouring countries, and this showed there was a problem in neighbouring countries.

The minister also highlighted the need for people and policies to be aligned to effects brought about by climate change. Climate change, he said put pressure on wildlife, domestic animals and people because they all compete for the same space, therefore he said challenges were bound to be there, thus the need to change the thinking direction.

For his part, Professor Wellington Masamba from University of Botswana (UB) pointed out that the institution’s wing in Maun, Okavango Research Institute (ORI) did a tremendous job in partnership with various institutions such as DWNP.He said they ensured sustainable and economic development of the country through natural resources. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Kedirebofe Pelontle

Location : Maun

Event : Symposium

Date : Mar 18 Wed,2015

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