Page 27 - Discover Botswana 23rd Edition 2023
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Establishing 21st Century Baselines
Since 2010, we have undertaken over 10,000 km. of river transects, establishing ground-breaking ecological baselines for an entire river basin. We have partnered with OKACOM, National Geographic Society, De Beers Group, and others in order to fund and continue this work. We have engaged in compelling storytelling across numerous platforms to ensure the world understands the importance of protecting the last few remaining pockets of wilderness.
The “early 21st century baselines” we capture now will need to be repeated. Every year, every
decade, we need to check where we stand. These living datasets will evolve with technological
advancement and become increasingly valuable over time. The water security of a million people and the world’s largest-remaining elephant population is at stake. Water, wildlife and people are threatened if we do not continually monitor and react to the changes observed.
Left top: An African Pygmy Goose takes off in the land of many rivers. These beautifully marked birds are the smallest of Africa’s water fowl with males weighing a mere 285 grams.
Left middle: Collecting water samples add important information to an ever-expanding data base that unlocks the secrets of the Okavango system.
Left bottom: Amphibians thrive in the delta and add enormously to its bio mass. Come sunset, the delta erupts in a cacophony of sound from literally millions of frogs and toads as day becomes night.
Conservationist, National Geographic Explorer, and TED Senior Fellow, Dr Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to preserving Africa’s wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. A native of South Africa, he founded the Cape Parrot Project with support from National Geographic, and is the scientific director of the Wild Bird Trust. In 2015, Steve launched what has become the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project to promote broader protection for the Okavango Delta’s watershed and its wildlife. Steve’s work takes him all over Africa, studying wildlife rehabilitation and biodiversity, fighting the wild- caught bird trade, and planting thousands of trees in forest restoration projects.

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