De Beers and National Geographic partner to protect the Okavango Delta
COMING together to form an important partnership, De Beers and National Geographic have announced the launch of Okavango Eternal. Addressing one of the most critical conservation challenges in Africa, the aim is to protect the waters of the Okavango Delta as well as the lives and livelihoods of those around.
For five years, the two organisations hope to protect not only the endangered species, but the food and water security of one million people. Not only this, but the implementation of the Okavango Eternal hopes to build long-term recovery within this region through working hand-in-hand with communities to collectively come up with solutions and pathways to gain economic advancements.
The Basin of the Okavango Delta spans the entirety of southern Angola, eastern Namibia and northern Botswana forming the majority of the water source of the Delta. It is important to note that this is home to one of the continent’s most important ecosystems due to its unrivalled biodiversity and the location of the world’s largest population of elephants.
The highlands in Angola carry rainwater into lakes and rivers which go into the Okavango Delta, and so, the issue that lies ahead is that the Okavango Basin does not hold a protected status while the Delta does. The effects of climate change, deforestation and waste from commercial agriculture is putting the lifeline at serious risk.
The National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project was formed in 2015 to provide aid in securing permanent protection for the Okavango Basin, while De Beers, have worked with the people of Botswana for over 50 years by helping improve education, healthcare and wildlife conservation through their brand’s Building Forever approach.
This collaboration through Okavango Eternal will not only create sustainable conservation in one of the biggest transboundary protected areas but it will hope to provide a framework to improve tourism to the local communities of Angola, Namibia and Botswana.
“The people of the Okavango Basin rely on its life-giving waters and we must unite our efforts and do everything in our power to ensure that they continue to flow for the future of the people and the wildlife that call this place home” explains Koketso Mookodi.
“By sharing our expertise and resources and working with local communities, governments and other NGO partners, we will deliver a positive impact that is far greater than what any of us could achieve on our own, and ultimately protects the natural world and improves people’s lives” states Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group.