Bringing communities together for sustainable and fair use of forestry resources in Chobe, Botswana

Senior Lecturer from the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN), Dr Joyce Lepetu shared her view on tropical forestry in regard to solidarity and fair use of natural resources, main theme of Tropentag 2016.

Together with her MPhil student Mr Hesekia Garekae, they carried out an outstanding research that has been presented during the conference; Forest Resources and Rural Livelihoods: Evidence from Chobe Enclave, Botswana. The main objective of their research was to assess the extent of household reliance on non-timber forest products and their contribution towards livelihoods of Chobe enclave communities. Why was the study conducted in these communities, you are wondering? The reason is, basically, that they are sandwiched between protected areas like Chobe National Park, Chobe Forest Reserve as well as Chobe River Basin, plus other wildlife management areas. The project wanted to find out what exactly the communities are extracting out from these resources for their livelihood. Their findings showed that several products coming from forests contribute considerably to rural livelihoods. Among the several, firewood is the mostly collected for activities such as energy, cooking, and heating. And, apparently, even those households who have access to alternative sources like electricity and gas, still maintain firewood as their primary supply of energy. This demonstrates its significance within the community. Wild fruits are also an integral component of household dietary need and respondents from the communities indicated that they are also being used as a safety net in times of low agricultural productivity.

“Through this project, we aim at elucidating principles of fair use of forestry resources within the communities. This brings people together and establishes a form of forestry conservation that gives them one voice in terms of resource management” said Garekae.

You can visit the following link to have a look at their project poster:


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