Late in June 2014, we had two visitors to Cheetah Camp from National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative (BCI) – Stuart Pimm (Duke University and BCI program management) and Rudi van Aarde (University of Pretoria and BCI southern Africa program management). Rudi and Stuart seemed impressed by the work being carried out by CCB and showed interest in working with us in the future, including a potential cooperative project for a southern Africa regional cheetah population assessment. The full story can be accessed at http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/03/a-woman-and-her-dogs/
On the 5th June 2014, CCB was once again invited by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to celebrate with them and display at the 2014 World Environment day in Metsimotlhabe village, in the Kweneng District. The world theme was ‘Raise your Voice, Not the Sea Levels’, while the local theme was ‘Raise your Voice for the Environment. Stop Illegal Harvesting of Natural Resources’. Dignitaries and students gathered at Metsimotlhabe Primary School grounds to listen to the speech given by the guest of honor, Mr. Markus Makides, who is the chairman of the Construction Sector of Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Industry (BOCCIM). Mr. Makides’ message was based on the illegal sand mining in the Metsimotlhabe River. He encouraged the people of Metsimotlhabe to utilize the sand mining efficiently to avoid its depletion and to stand up and be environmentally friendly for sustainable development. Different exhibitors presented their works geared at environmental protection and conservation, while students entertained with songs, poems and plays. The celebration also recognized the cleanest school and yard in the village and prizes were awarded accordingly.
CCB’s Community outreach department hosted a workshop for Tlokweng farmers to engage them in proper livestock management and increase their knowledge on predators and options on reducing the conflict with predators at their farm lands. CCB covered four topics including correct identification of predators, reducing losses to predators, training and general care of livestock guarding dogs. We also had guest speakers, among them: BirdLife Botswana speaking about bird’s conservation and awareness on vulture poisoning, Organisation of Wildlife Victims and Welfare who presented on the issues surrounding deaths or injuries caused by wild animals, Departments’ of Wildlife and National Parks, Animal Production, Veterinary Services, Botswana Police Stock Theft unit. The workshop was well attended and farmers were urged to use sustainable husbandry methods to protect their livestock.
CCB and Birdlife Botswana are key collaborators in environmental conservation issues and as such, they celebrated the World Migratory Bird Day for the year 2014 in Jwaneng. The objectives were to raise awareness and promote conservation of birds especially migratory species, to develop an interest and knowledge of birds among children, including orphans, the disabled and those affected by HIV/AIDS, and to promote Botswana’s indigenous knowledge on conservation at grassroots level. The theme for the event was “Destination Flyways: Migratory Birds and Tourism”. This was to showcase the different ways in which humans and birds are connected and how they can benefit from each other without causing harm or depletion to the other. Relationships were strengthened between CCB and Birdlife Botswana as well as teachers and students of Jwaneng and surrounding areas.