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RESOURCES: CASE STUDIES

Author : Haretsebe Manwa
Section : International Cases in Sustainable Tourism Book Contributions
Year : 2013
Related Link : http://www.goodfellowpublishers.com/free...elta2.pptx

The case study has been published in the book International Cases in Sustainable Travel & Tourism and can be purchased from Goodfellow Publishers. To receive an exclusive 10% discount on the book enter the code BESTENGP at checkout when buying directly from the Goodfellow Publishers website. Following the link you can access the free of charge Powerpoint presentation on the Okavango Delta.

Synopsis and Learning Outcomes<

Integrated management plans are paramount for ensuring the sustainability of resources which have many stakeholders, such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest Ramsar site. Ramsar refers to the Convention on Wetlands of international importance. It is an intergovernmental treaty that mandates that member states conserve and use wetlands wisely through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world (Ramsar, 2013a). The Okavango Delta is also one of the largest inland deltas and a World Heritage site. Signatories to the Ramsar Convention are expected to develop and implement plans for designated Ramsar sites to promote conservation of the wetlands in their respective countries.

In compliance with the Ramsar requirements, the Botswana government launched the Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP) in 2002 and it was completed in 2007. The aim was to “develop a comprehensive integrated management plan for the conservation and sustainable use of the Okavango Delta and surrounding areas” (Department of Environmental Affairs, 2008). Consequently, the plan was designed to provide a framework and contextual guidelines for existing and future individual area and sector plans.

The case study presents the planning process followed in the development of the ODMP to highlight best practices in integrated resources management. The process shows how stakeholders with different interests were brought together and their views and interests incorporated in the formulation of the plan. Lessons learned from the planning process, for example the importance of open communication channels between stakeholders and especially local communities who normally do not have a voice in planning processes, are highlighted to show how the process has empowered stakeholders and given them confidence in planning activities. Whilst the ODMP plan formulation can be credited as being a product of thorough stakeholder input and support, there are still a lot of challenges facing the successful implementation of the ODMP including the role of other riparian states (Angola and Namibia), centralisation of decision making and structural challenges, financial mechanisms, competing priorities at the national level and selling the plan.

After studying this case, learners should be able to:

  1. understand and apply stakeholder theory to analyse the complexities of integrating stakeholders in the development of the Okavango Delta Management Plan;
  2. apply an integrated planning approach as stipulated by the Ramsar Convention to evaluate the Okavango Delta Management Planning process; and
  3. propose appropriate strategies for the successful implementation of the Okavango Delta Management Plan.

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