Is There a Solution?
Botswana is the size of Texas,
but with a population of only 1.3 million compared to Texas with
Botswana is lucky to have
first diamonds then copper-nickel as their first two foreign exchange
producers (making it recently the second richest per capita country
in Africa). Beef comes in third at only an insignificant 4.5 % of
the top three. Tourism is fourth but rising and the real future
with some 17% of Botswana (the country), set aside in reserves.
This includes the Okavanga Delta, the largest inland delta in the
world, teeming with exotic African game, and Chobe where President
Clinton visited for a safari on his early 1998 African trip.
Once having had it all, the
San warrant some of their land back, along with self-determination.
But the government unfortunately looks down on them as 'pests',
and 'stone age embarrassment'. It is suicidally shortsighted to
destroy the Kalahari by introducing cattle in light of Botswana's
other export 'assets' like it is suicidal to destroy the San and
their natural habitat.
If SAVESAN were 'king for a day',
- Get the EU and World Bank
to stop the misguided and counterproductive beef subsidies.
- Pull the environmentally
destructive cattle back out of the 'desert', which makes 80% of
- Remove the killer 'cordon
- Reintroduce the 'environmentally
friendly' wild game into the Kalahari regions.
- Allow for proper wildlife
protection and management as it is in now being done by Botswana's
neighbors, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, reversing environmental
decline and the extinction of wild game - but together
with the San.
- Let the Bushman be not only
involved in the remote area tourism and game ranching, but let
Click on the
here to order from Barnes and Noble
Setting A Trap,
Living In Tune With Nature.
But simultaneously rededicate significant 'useless' Kalahari land
to the San, giving them a viable choice between:
Give the San real viable choices.
Let them decide their own fate.
- a) staying nomadic, or
- b) transition into a more
sedentary 'mixed economy' around well spaced 'family clan' wells
with some planting, game farming, hunting part time, or
- c) support those who would
so chose to learn Setswana and English, and help those who want
to transition into the 'modern world', to act as advocates for
their own people.
What will cause this to happen?
The problem is becoming exposed; the outcry from environmentalists,
humanitarians, and the general public influencing drastic change
in the current policies inside and outside of the Kalahari affecting
the San and the ecosystem.
In a complete turnaround, the
Australian Aborigines reacquired land through the political process
since 1972, after almost two centuries of genocide and then then
neglect. The Inuit (Eskimos to laymen) were belatedly given 20%
of Canada in 1990.
It can happen also for the
International is a worldwide organisation supporting Indigenous Peoples.
It stands for their right to decide their own future and helps them
protect their lives, lands and human rights. ECOTERRA is a not-for-profit
organisation, founded in 1968, which receives no funds from any national
We are also working with other groups
to raise funds to repossess, lease or secure ancestral lands in
southern Africa, where communities of San can redefine their traditional
way of life. Please join us!