The Botswana Carnivore Forum (BCF), of which CCB is an active member, recently held a field research methods course at CCB’s Education Centre. The course aimed at providing opportunities for undergraduate students, recent graduates, post-graduate students, DWNP staff and other interested people to learn about field research methods that are commonly used in conservation. The goal was to provide practical training in a variety of commonly used research methods — spoor surveys, camera trapping, vegetation sampling and much mre. A total of 13 participants enjoyed exciting modules from pioneers in the research and conservation fields, including Dr. Emily Bennett from the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute, Dr. Jess Isden and Dr. Kristina Kesch from WildCRU and Robyn Hartley from WildTrax Expeditions. All participants enjoyed the course and the feedback suggested that the participants appreciated the opportunity to gain practical experience. Additionally, students learnt about potential careers and jobs within the research field in Botswana including post-graduate opportunities, research internships and NGOs currently seeking researchers. It was wonderful to see such a passionate group of young conservationists, with one stating, “we are the generation that needs to enact change in our country”. With tomorrow’s leaders like this, we are confident that Botswana will continue to uphold its proud conservation reputation long into the future.
The Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa (EEASA) conference is an event hosted by Southern African Development Countries (SADC) member states annually. In 2018, it was hosted by Zambia under the theme “Rethinking Education for Sustainable Development: A key to our Future.” CCB’s Education officer Mr Britz G. Malepe and volunteer Ms Keneilwe Mathaba attended the conference in September. The objectives were to exchange ideas and experiences with other environmental practitioners as well as to create working networks among EEASA members.
The conference attracted about 200 participants from all over the SADC region as well as from Sweden and the United States of America including 12 representatives from Botswana. The participants enjoyed various excursions such as the visit to Kazungula bridge, Victoria Falls, an art studio that uses waste to make artefacts and eco-cycling and a tour of the town of Livingstone. To conclude the conference, EEASA held their Annual General Meeting that was attended by all, at which a lot of issues relating to EEASA Council and Conferences were raised.
This event is a wonderful platform for networking as it gives an opportunity to participants to forge collaborations and to work together for the successful implementation of education for sustainable development projects and initiatives. CCB’s representatives were excited to learn about all the different approaches including performing arts that are being used to further disseminate environmental conservation messages to different audiences.
Cheetah Conservation Botswana is doing exceptionally well with our training of livestock guarding dogs. In August 2018, we added the second group of seven Tswana breed puppies to our Ghanzi demo farm. These puppies will be trained with our goat herd for several weeks so as to prepare them for their work as livestock guardians. These puppies will be placed on selected Ghanzi farms where sightings of carnivores have been recurrent, in order to protect their goats and sheep from predation.
One of our livestock guarding dog recipients Mr. Tuahuku has these praises to share:
''I give a big thank you to Cheetah Conservation Botswana for giving me a well-trained livestock guard dog. This dog did wonders; it helped stop a problem that was giving me sleepless nights. With this dog I confidently say predation in my farm is a thing of the past. Cheetahs, jackals and caracals are still in this area but they no longer come near my livestock (goats), the dog has chased and stopped them from preying on my goats. Nowadays I release my goats out to graze with confidence and assured of their safety from these carnivores''.