The primary aim of the biennial symposium is to highlight the importance of biodiversity and to allow various stakeholders to share their recent developments and research findings related to biodiversity in Botswana. The 2020 symposium was convened under the theme “Biodiversity mainstreaming for healthy ecosystems and green economy through science and technology”. By providing a platform for national biodiversity experts to network, as well as allowing opportunities for various institutions to showcase their activities through presentations, the symposium also gives a rare chance to create more insight into how to reduce the negative impacts that human activities exert on biodiversity.
Among the 60 people in attendance over the two presentation days of the symposium, CCB was represented by a team of eight staff members – with three members giving presentations related to CCB’s work in the region. Morulaganyi Kokole, of our Farming for Conservation department, presented the results of his MSc. research on predator occupancy and the human-wildlife conflict in Jwana Game Park; while CCB’s PhD Candidate, Marie-Charlotte Gielen, gave a presentation on her preliminary PhD data on wildlife-livestock cohabitation in Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). CCB’s Research Coordinator Michelle Kral presented on the usage of a carnivore deterrents to reduce human-wildlife conflict on commercial cattle ranches in Ghanzi district.
As an important pillar to the work we do as an organization, research allows CCB to not only remain relevant in contemporary dialogue around matters of conservation and biodiversity, but to also influence future work in strategy and policy development in Botswana and regionally. Through engagements with other entities which had presentations at the symposium, such as the UNDP, University of Botswana, and Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN), we can continue to fortify our work toward promoting coexistence using the multiple avenues available to us including research and education.