About Conservation International Botswana

CI Botswana is one of the 30 countries where CI combines fieldwork with innovations in science, policy and finance, helping protect more than 6 million square kilometers (2.3 million square miles) of land and sea across more than 70 countries.


© Jaochim Huber/ Flickr Creative Commons

CI's presence in Botswana dates to 1993 in Maun where CI opened an office and program called CI-Okavango. The location was chosen at the time to support work to conserve the rich biodiversity of the world-famous Okavango Delta, now a World Heritage site, and the Okavango River Basin spanning across the three countries of Angola, Namibia, and Botswana.

The program was developed to support CI’s three pillars of Science, Community development and Policy.


Regarding Policy, CI-Okavango worked the government on concerns about veterinary cordon fences and was co-founder of Botswana’s Ad Hoc Committee on Fences (AHCOF) which created a critical 40 km wildlife corridor in the Caprivi fence at the Kwando River. Policy work aimed also to help effect designation of the Okavango Delta as a World Heritage site.


The Science program included support for the Predator Wild Dog Program, Cheetah Conservation Botswana and zebra research n the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Community development

Community enterprise development for local communities included the development of the Shorobe Women’s Basketry building and cooperative. Through the Letswee Centre's Environmental Education Programme about 3000 pupils from primary schools were annually taken to the Maun Game Park, situated on the Thamalakane river frontage to educate them on:

  • sustainable use of our natural resources
  • prevention of pollution (water/air/soil)
  • learning to appreciate the environment’s natural beauty (especially the delta)
  • being aware of what you can do as an individual to improve the environment.
© Conservation International/photo by Derek Vollmer

CI Okavango worked with schools to initiate the annual Ngamiland Environmental Education Fair which runs to this day.

The office closed in 2017 at the end of the funding cycle.

GDSA Secretariat

Following the launch of the Gaborone Declaration of Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) in 2012 as a transformative platform to achieve sustainable development goals in Africa, the Government of Botswana (GoB) delegated the role of GDSA Secretariat to CI-Botswana in 2014, to provide technical and financial support with an interim office established in Gaborone.

GDSA aim is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through climate change mitigation by actively mainstreaming natural capital considerations in the development plans, policies, programmes, and decision making; building social capital through the protection of protected areas and building knowledge, data, capacity and policy networks to promote leadership on sustainable development.

The GDSA office was moved back to the Government of Botswana in April 2021 and is currently housed under the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The Government of Botswana will engage a consultant to develop ideas to set up the GDSA Secretariat as an independent institution hosted by Botswana.

As of 2021 the membership was 20 African Members States.