Time for the planet “Botswana”
TWO NEW PROJECTS TO PROMOTE COEXISTENCE BETWEEN HUMANS AND ELEPHANTS IN BOTSWANA
The “Time for the Planet” projects, made possible by the support of Omega, have been further enhanced by two new projects. The GoodPlanet Foundation supports two organisations that are introducing biodiversity conservation measures and aid local communities to promote Human-Elephant cohabitation in Botswana.
Thanks to the conservation measures established in the country, Botswana has become a refuge for the wildlife of Southern Africa. The reserves, real sanctuaries for diversity, cover 20% of the territory and make it possible for the animals, especially threatened species, to flourish there. Elephants are emblematic of the country, and their population has reached around 250,000 individuals, with a growth rate of almost 5% per year. In some parts of the country, the density of elephants is greater than that of the human inhabitants.
This especially rich biodiversity contributes to the development of the country’s tourist industry. However, a large section of the population does not benefit directly from this income, particularly the farmers and livestock breeders who represent the majority of the country’s population. The problems of cohabitation between farmers and elephants are constantly increasing. In 2014, more than 6,000 incidents were identified: fields and harvests destroyed, the destruction of infrastructure, injuries and even deaths. Such conflicts may be the cause of the slaughter of elephants. The fact is that such hunts are prohibited by law in Botswana except in genuine self-defence.
These projects centred on the coexistence of humans and elephants have two further goals.
- Reducing the vulnerability of rural populations in Botswana
- Promoting the conservation of elephant populations
To these ends, they focus on several key areas:
- Monitoring and understanding elephant populations
- Promoting and introducing long-term measures to protect crops and people
- Reducing the feeling of vulnerability of local populations by improving yields and agricultural techniques
- Creating alternative sources of income directly related to elephants
- Setting up educational programmes, particularly for the young
These projects, called “Time for the Planet”, are made possible thanks to the support of OMEGA and the creation of two “GoodPlanet” Aqua Terra watches, of which part of the proceeds go to these field projects.