Okavango Research Institute (ORI) has been appreciated as one of the leading research institutes in Africa by both the Ambassadors of France and Germany to Botswana during their visit to the facility this week.
France Ambassador Olivier Brochenin applauded that ORI has been doing great research work in the region which has led to the sustainable conservation of the area’s bio diversity, particularly in the Okavango Delta.
“This is one of the interesting institutions that bring a lot to sustainable development of this region for the benefit of the local communities and Botswana,” he said.
According to him, the French community has been supportive in developing and promoting research projects by actively taking part in some of the researches in Okavango and Botswana.
German Ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette revealed that her government has a long lasting relationship and cooperation of over 10 years with Botswana government in the field of research.
Hellwig-Boette indicated that through the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL), Germany finances research projects at ORI on issues relating to land use conflicts, natural resource management, tourism and climate change among others.
She indicated that research funding at SASSCAL focuses on projects that has the interest of the people and the nation at large in order to improve the quality of people’s livelihood and standard.
She explained that through SASSCAL, German Development Corporation (GDC) helps institution like ORI to conduct data and information on climate, water, drought and sustainable wildlife management in order to help in decision making on such areas.
ORI has the Enhanced Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management under Accelerated Climate Change (ALNEC) research project sponsored by SASSCAL under the University of Botswana. The project intends to create a platform for the establishment of a collaborative, working relationship with communities to address the vivid and on-going human-wildlife conflict and failing conservation and development objectives in Okavango.
“This is a considerable contribution to Botswana government and it is also combined with the allocation of research grants so that young and inspiring students and researchers can have more access to finance to do research projects which are important for the country,” she said.
She further revealed that Germany and France are the biggest contributors to the bilateral funding which are used to fund research projects in Botswana indicating that Germany contribute 25% while France contribute 20%.