COMMUNITIES FOR CONSERVATION
This is CCB's newest programme and we are still trying to source funding to get the full range of activities up and running. So far we have been able to conduct the following activities, however, we look forward to this programme running long term, to work with communities in a variety of ways to promote coexistence.
To safeguard Botswana's cheetahs we first need to preserve the Kalahari's unique habitat. Central to this is the work we are pioneering with two small villages in the heart of one large wildlife corridor. Establishing partnerships with specialised and experienced organisations will allow the communities to be supported so they can address social ills and tap into their strengths, primarily by building the capacity of their own community-based organisation, to improve their ability to manage their natural resource base.
Community Participatory Planning Process
CCB went through a thorough participatory planning process with the two villages that lie in the middle of this crucial wildlife corridor - Bere and Kacgae. The communities themselves laid out what they believed their challenges were and what areas of development they wished for in their villages. Although many of the areas where they need assistance are not directly related to conservation, we are aware that the villagers ability to conserve wildlife can be hampered if these issues are not addressed. As such, we began the process within our own organisation to identify what areas we can focus on with our activities and what areas we can involve other stakeholders to assist with. The entire process was well attended by the communities and we celebrated in each village with traditional dances and soccer matches. We look forward to securing ongoing funding for these villages, so that they can work towards protecting their natural resources and benefiting from this incredible resource.
Celebrating Wildlife in the Communities
Part of this project is aimed at creating a sense of pride in the San's natural and cultural resources. A recent visit by professional artist Karrie Hovey saw the Bere Primary School transform with murals depicting the art of the school's students. Karrie also painted footprints of wildlife along the corridors of the school to remind the students of their traditional culture of tracking spoor (footprints). CCB's Education team is continue to work closely with the Primary Schools in both communities, with regular school visits and bush camps to encourage a passion for the environmental within the students. The deputy headteacher of Bere Primary School, Keene Ramotsana, attributed an improvement in the student's performance at school with the interventions CCB had done with the students. "It is because of you (CCB) and the work that you do here, that these students are doing so well in school."