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Ecotourism Botswana''s Future

The United States ambassador, Mr Earl Miller, says economists have shown that ecotourism is worth almost P8 billion a year in Botswana and accounts for 10 per cent of the country's economy and 10 per cent of all jobs in the country.

Addressing the media in Kasane on March 13, Mr Miller stated that ecotourism supported many different jobs in Botswana, from the Pandamatenga farmers to the housekeepers in the various lodges.

He noted that although wildlife was a source of great wealth for Botswana, they also caused problems for people who lived with them. "We need to balance the benefits and difficulties that arise from wildlife," he noted.

Furthermore, he noted that his government and that of Botswana had been working together since the early 90s to develop and strengthen a programme called Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM).

"CBNRM ensures that the communities that live with wildlife receive direct benefits from that wildlife," he said adding that CBNRM gave the communities a voice in how wildlife resources were managed.

Ambassador Miller, made time to visit and talk to students and staff of the Chobe Junior Secondary School where he advised on the importance of conserving wildlife.

"I am aware of the newly developed brick wall, which has been put into place to prevent elephants from wondering, but it is important that we use measures that are none harmful to chase these animals away, such as the chilli pepper fence that would not cause any serious damage as compared to the electric fence," he said.

Ambassador Miller also took part in the official commencement of the phase one Kasane facelift, which involved painting of 190 household structures along the President Avenue in Kasane.

Source: allafrica






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