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EditPhoto Title:Botswana sets the pace for development in Africa
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EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_69947876.jpg
EditImage Description:Herd at sunset in Botswana
EditPhoto Credit:© Rod Mast
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Botswana has been hailed as one of Africa’s development success stories — but despite strong economic growth, Botswana still faces serious challenges.



With potential declines in diamond mining revenues, increasing water scarcity and rising unemployment, there’s still much to be done to improve Botswana's economy and safeguard its natural resources for future generations.

Botswana is embarking on a new era of development. Following on the heels of the Africa Summit for Sustainability in 2012, Botswana’s President Ian Khama is setting the course for a more sustainable development path for his nation. As a first step to implementing the commitments of the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, Botswana has undergone an analysis of its natural capital — in particular, the impact that healthy ecosystems have on the country’s economy.



Our role

CI has partnered with President Khama and Botswana to pursue sustainable development and bring together other like-minded countries to develop a way to align economic development with sustainable development goals. In December 2014, CI became the Secretariat of the Gaborone Declaration at the request of the government of Botswana.



Our plan

Striking a balance between conservation and economic growth

Natural environments provide essential services to people — like fresh water, pollination and a stable climate, to name a few. These services are often taken for granted and generally are not taken into account in decisions even though they are fundamental to quality of life and our very survival. The analysis of Botswana’s healthy ecosystems and their relationship to the country’s economy offers economic data about tourism, employment, agriculture and other areas that President Khama and his government can use to make informed decisions about land and water use, economic activities, energy and food security, environment and climate. Botswana is pioneering this approach and, in doing so, is encouraging other countries to do the same.



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EditImage Alt Text:Riverbank in Botswana
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:49%
EditText:According to the analysis, the annual services of nature, year upon year, is equivalent to 49% or more of Botswana’s GDP.
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Leo Braack
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    EditHeader:Botswana has taken other steps in pursuit of a green economy:
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    EditSection Title:The Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa
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      EditImage URL: /sitecollectionimages/ci_86231038.jpg
      EditImage Description: A guide shows the mokoro — a wooden dugout canoe — that he uses to lead tourists through the shallow maze of waterways that spread through the wilderness of Botswana's vast Okavango Delta.
      EditText: Khama and Botswana are spearheading an international effort focused on the value of natural resources to long-term development in Africa and across the globe. Sustainability is a huge issue for Botswana and other African nations, because economic growth and the natural environment are so closely intertwined. Together with CI, Botswana led the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, a regional policy platform that brings together like-minded African nations for the purpose of pursuing green economic development while sharing and learning from one another.
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      EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Gina Buchanan
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        EditSection Title:Incorporating the value of nature into national accounts
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          EditImage URL: /sitecollectionimages/ci_28627059.jpg
          EditImage Description: Ecotourism in Botswana
          EditText: Depleting Botswana’s natural resources through activities like mining will provide short-term revenues and employment, but they often undermine the ability of the natural environments to continue providing essential services for people. Through the World Bank’s Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Partnership, Botswana has taken important steps toward valuing and accounting for such ecosystem services as part of its national wealth accounts.
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          EditTitle:Climate
          EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_30785027.jpg
          EditLink:/what/Pages/Climate.aspx
          EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

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          EditTitle:Science and Innovation
          EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_80568511.tif
          EditLink:/how/pages/science-and-innovation.aspx
          EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

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          EditTitle:The Ocean
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          EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
          EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse