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2010-05-26 | Policy Brief

The livelihood value of Botswana’s Okavango delta

Turpie, J.K, 2010,“The livelihood value of the natural resources of the Okavango Delta” Policy Paper Series, April 2010, Environmental Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
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Tourism development provides an important opportunity for reducing pressures on the delta’s natural resources as well as reducing people’s dependence on the these resources for their livelihoods.

In spite of a plethora of legislation to encourage their protection, more than half of the world’s wetlands have been lost (Barbier 1993), probably largely due to a lack of appreciation of the existence and value of the services they provide. At the local level, these include the provision of harvested goods such as raw materials, and their contribution to agricultural productivity. Such services contribute to the livelihoods of millions of people living around the large floodplain and deltaic wetlands of sub-Saharan Africa (Turpie et al. 1999, Schuyt 2005). Understanding what drives the extent of wetland use and contribution to livelihoods will be critical to the successful conservation of wetland systems such as the Okavango delta.