Yeah, we’ll get right on that…

From Inderscience Publishers , a shocking revelation. People actually go to Botswana. Though, maybe they’ve been jealous of the Maldives and Tuvalu getting all the attention and handouts for non-existent climate threats. The Maldives formula is simple: Say your livelihood is being threatened by climate change, ask for money from the UN and guilted up richer nations, use that money to build new airports and tourist facilities. Problem solved.

Botswana, climate and tourism

Saving Botswana’s tourist industry from climate change

Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a sensitive ecosystem that could be affected detrimentally by climate change. Given the Delta’s prominence in the country’s tourist industry, such negative impacts could wreak havoc on its economy and affect the lives of its inhabitants.

Tourism in Botswana is the second largest economic sector, according to Wame Hambira of the University of Botswana in Gaborone. She has taken the Okavango Delta as a case study for investigating the vulnerabilities and problems faced by such an ecosystem and the side effects change might have on economic growth. She suggests that suitable adaptations and policy changes are needed in the face of climate change if Botswana is not to lose income from this sector.

The Okavango Delta is a richly diverse ecosystem, it is the world’s largest inland delta and sits atop the Kalahari Desert. More than 10 trillion litres of water irrigate the 15,000 square kilometres of the Delta. Given the beautiful landscapes, the scientific importance and the presence of large mammals including African bush elephant, buffalo, hippopotamus, antelope, giraffe, leopard and lion as well as the endangered African Wild Dog, the Delta is an important conservation area and attracts an estimated 50,000 visitors annually. The actual figure may be more than double that.

“Currently, the prime sites for tourism in Botswana are geographically concentrated in the north-western part of the country along the Chobe River (Kasane/Chobe area) and the Okavango Delta, which are rich in pristine wildlife and wetlands attractions,” says Hambira. She adds that the Okavango Delta offers popular tourism activities such as hunting safaris, photographic safaris, bird and animal watching, fishing, canoeing and cultural and heritage activities.

Hambira calls for a full vulnerability assessment of Botswana’s tourism industry as a whole, taking into consideration that the different ecosystems ranging from the dry lands to the wetlands and their associated leisure activities will be affected differently by climate change. Planned adaptation could then be achieved through financial, technical, legal and other assistance to facilitate the implementation of policies to help the tourism industry adapt to the effects of climate change.

###

“Screening for climate change vulnerability in Botswana’s tourism sector in a bid to explore suitable adaptation measures and policy implications: a case study of the Okavango Delta” in International Journal of Tourism Policy, vol 4, 51-65

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50 thoughts on “Yeah, we’ll get right on that…

  1. Nasty, snarky comments seem quite uncalled for. What have you got against Botswana and its people, Anthony?

  2. It’s long gone time this global warming racket was stopped. You cannot heat water from above on this planet. It is childishly simple to prove beyond any doubt that oceanic surface tension stops the ocean from absorbing physical heat from the atmosphere. It follows from that that there is NO positive feedback therefor NO manmade global warming. Oh and by the way, water ignores the second law of thermodynamics, which is probably why we still have an ocean.

  3. yeah Botswana is an interesting place…a well governed african country…though AIDS is their major problem…check out the movies…the gods must be crazy…1 and 2…great entertainment

  4. @ nigel harris you see where this piece came from originally right? Anthony is re-blogging/posting this. So why the nasty, snarky comments against our host? they seem quite uncalled for.

    However, my guess is you will never post again on this thread. Another driveby trolling. Go back to fakeclimate.

  5. “a shocking revelation. People actually go to Botswana”

    Somewhat tongue-in-cheek perhaps, but I really can’t see this as “nasty” or “snarky.”

  6. Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a sensitive ecosystem that could be affected detrimentally by climate change.

    The Okavango Delta is the water source for pretty much all of Botswana’s agricultural area, and it gets sucked pretty dry during Botswana’s periodic droughts — so the ecosystem is actually fairly *robust*…

  7. Let me see if I have this right.

    So climate change may affect their tourism business.

    And climate change is caused by CO2.

    And tourists fly to Botswana and while there drive around in cars.

    So the tourist, that are a requirement for a tourist business, are causing the climate change that will affect the tourist business.

    Do I have that right? Sounds like a Catch-22. Tourism causes damage that will stop tourism.

  8. Things I never thought I’d say:
    #145 – I wish the US was as fiscally responsible as Botswana.

    (look it up)

  9. The Okavango Delta is a truly incredible place. Please nobody be phased by Anthony’s requote of ‘People actually go there’. The government appears to be far ahead of just about anything else Africa offers. (Except they stand on the San people.) There was a time however when the government were considering draining the delta in order to facilitate diamond mining. Happily that has never come to be, as tourism thus far has won the day.

    To me, the most incredible aspect of this massive inland delta is you can scoop a tumblerful of water when on a boat at any point on the delta and drink it. When I was there, it was delightful, beating any bottled spring water! This is not withstanding the fact that countless hippos, crocodiles, tiger fish and bathing elephants poo in it at what must be a rate of many tons per hour. Nature does a wonderful thing of self-preservation and self-regulation; something the global warmers would be well advised to observe.

  10. Gimme Gimme!
    The temperature increasing from ‘terrible +15′ degrees > ‘terrible +16′ degrees is sure to be more than those poor tourists can handle.
    The tourist industry must compensate and add more ‘watering holes’, which is expensive.

  11. I’m old enough to remember when the activists spent their time trying to keep tourists OUT of areas like this in order to preserve them. Around the circle we go….

  12. Actually, if you decouple their intent from the CAGW meme, it makes sense. Our mantra here is that “The climates is always changing.” Given that truism, it seems reasonable to attempt an assesment of what could happen when the local “decadal oscilliation” flips, or ENSO does it’s thing. If you believe a major portion of your GDP is vulnerable to climate, finding out for sure and having a “B” plan seems smart to me.

  13. “She suggests that suitable adaptations and policy changes are needed in the face of climate change if Botswana is not to lose income from this sector”.

    My response: If you destroy the worlds economy you will have no tourists.

    What is the level of mercury in the water in this pristine environment? If it exceeds that now identified in the US as unacceptable, can we shoot all the hippos? Or should we shoot the US EPA?

  14. It could be more a matter of protecting the habitat of the ecotourists than protecting the habitat of the animals. Ecotourists are very fussy about the ideological orthodoxy of places they visit. If Botswana is seen as not screaming loudly enough, not insulting the West stridently enough at meetings of Rio and Kyoto and Durban and so on, the population of ecotourists will be endangered.

  15. If Venice can handle it, why get get too concerned about a sparsely inhabited delta. All delta sedimentation compacts and subsides. If the sediment transport is adequate, it’ll keep up with transgression. If not, it wasn’t meant to.

  16. I have noticed that Anthony has seemed a bit cranky of late, if that’s the right word. Don’t know if it is due to dealing with certain PITA’s or maybe just hanging out with Willis. Whatever the case, it won’t stop me from visiting the site, as it continues to be one of the best in the business.

    REPLY: Yes, I admit to being cranky. I’m getting a lot of hate mail behind the scenes. Thanks go to angry science writer David Appell for publishing my email address while at the same time trying to minimize his exposure for believing that the ANU death threats were real. I’ll probably have to abandon that email address now, one I’ve had since 1995. -Anthony

  17. Here is the kind of garbage coming out of WWF sponsored bank reports…

    .”.Global warming could exact a devastating toll on the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, with costs possibly exceeding $100 billion by 2050, the Inter-American Development Bank warned Tuesday. (..)

    “Many climate-related changes are irreversible and will continue to impact the region over the long term,” Walter Vergara, the bank’s Division Chief of Climate Change and Sustainability and the lead researcher of the study, said in a statement.

    “To prevent further damages, adaptation is necessary but not enough. Bolder actions are needed to bend the emissions curve in the coming decades,” he said.

    The report — issued by the bank, the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) — is to be formally unveiled later this month at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.”

    ..

  18. Geoff Alder says:
    June 6, 2012 at 9:48 am

    The Okavango Delta is a truly incredible place. Please nobody be phased by Anthony’s requote of ‘People actually go there’.

    The ‘place’ has nothing to do with deploring the proliferation of rent-seeking governments trying to tap into the CAGW financial boondoggle. The river delta will only be ‘endangered’ if the river stops flowing or if its silt supply is cut off.

    That would faze it. Unless it was just going through a phase.

  19. Anthony;
    About the hate mail: do a Breitbart. Publish it all, complete with email addresses.

  20. They should conduct an assessment of their vulnerability to short and long-term variability in the climate and plan accordingly. They should refrain from participating in extortion schemes, including the “global warming” enterprise.

  21. It’s completely rational behaviour for any coutry to maximise the international aid or grants that it can obtain, indeed it would be a dereliction of duty for a government not to try to obtain such grants if available. EU countries try to maximise the benefit they get out of the EU, UNESCO world heritage sites get grants – why shouldn’t Botswana do the same?

    And why not do a vulnerability assessment – climate is always changing, as I think has been pointed out here before? It might highlight useful actions to take to improve resilience to any unforeseen events.

  22. Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a sensitive ecosystem that could be affected detrimentally by climate change. Given the Delta’s prominence in the country’s tourist industry, such negative impacts could wreak havoc………………

    Spot the weasle words?

    How many tonnes of carbon dioxide does the average tourist churn out FLYING to Botswana?

    As for climate change and man, man does have a part to play but it ain’t from co2.

    Here is the Okavango’s experience of climate change over the Holocene.

    Abstract
    ……………A wet phase or period of enhanced Okavango flooding is tentatively identified around 9000 BP on the basis of increased accumulation of organic matter within floodplain sediments. Palynological and sedimentological data, combined with stable carbon isotope analyses, suggest that relatively dry conditions extended from 7000 to 4000 BP (punctuated by a wet phase at around 6000 BP). This is interpreted as indicating reduced rainfall over the Okavango headwaters in Angola. Conditions from around 4000 BP became progressively wetter, initially in response to increased water throughputs via the Okavango system. Wettest conditions occurred from 2300 to 1000 BP due to a combination of increased regional rainfall and raised Okavango flood levels. Conditions approach those of the present day after this time. A major shift from grass- to sedge-dominated vegetation communities, apparent at all three sites in the past thousand years, is attributed to anthropogenic disturbance. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379105002982

    [My bold]

  23. I’m certain an absence of tourism and the resulting income to the region will be more detrimental than its presence. Eat the wild beasts kind of detrimental.

  24. timg56 says:
    June 6, 2012 at 10:53 am
    I have noticed that Anthony has seemed a bit cranky of late, if that’s the right word. Don’t know if it is due to dealing with certain PITA’s or maybe just hanging out with Willis. Whatever the case, it won’t stop me from visiting the site, as it continues to be one of the best in the business.

    REPLY: Yes, I admit to being cranky. I’m getting a lot of hate mail behind the scenes. Thanks go to angry science writer David Appell for publishing my email address while at the same time trying to minimize his exposure for believing that the ANU death threats were real. I’ll probably have to abandon that email address now, one I’ve had since 1995. -Anthony
    =============
    FWIW, the mail is coming because “they” think they are not in control of the message anymore.
    It drives “them” crazy.

    Now a parable;

    “Donkey in the Well”
    One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

    Finally he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well, and was astonished at what he saw. As every shovel of dirt hit his back, the donkey did something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

    As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed, as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.
    ——–
    Hope it helps.

  25. On the plus side:
    When Anthony is cranky the titles are more entertaining
    Annular eclipse
    Venus transit
    Best Science Blog and Lifetime Achievement
    Markets are up (today)
    Scott Walker still in charge in Wisconsin
    Botswana is fine
    Polar Bears and polar ice – both fine
    Temperature – seems a bit chilly to me
    WUWT is the favorite site for many on the Web
    ~~~~~
    On the other hand:
    David Appell will be remembered for being a jerk – if he is remembered at all.

  26. @ Roy UK – it was Anthony Watts’s comment “A shocking revelation. People actually go to Botswana” that seemed out of order to me. Nothing in the article itself. Clearly a lead-in written by Anthony Watts himself. Would he make the same sort of comment about somewhere like Texas, (to choose an area of the world of similar size), I wonder?

    REPLY: Since you mentioned Texas, You might want to read this from one of the gentlemen at “science blogs”. Be sure to scroll down to the part about Texas under “Your stupid state”.

    I’ve never heard of anyone vacationing in Botswana, so yes, it is a shocking revelation to me. Though I suppose eco-tourism has opened up a whole host of places on the “nice place to visit but wouldn’t want to live there” list.

    It was intended as satire. Compared to Mr. Laden’s commentary I hope you can see the difference. I have nothing against Botswana, but I’m genuinely surprised that people actually go there on vacation/holiday. – Anthony

  27. u.k.(us) says:
    June 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm
    …………………………………………………….

    What a great parable. You just made my day. Thanks!

    TR

  28. Botswana, on a per capita basis, is Africa’s wealthiest nation by a long, long way. This is down to the fact that over the last thirty years or so, diamond discoveries have been beyond bountiful, and the population is small. The tourism aspect (decidedly worth a visit) spreads some money around away from the capital, Gaborones, but it is small beer compared to mining income. Temperature variations from day to night, depending a little on location, can be immense, particularly in winter and it is difficult to imagine that a few degrees change in ‘averages’ would have any noticeable effect.

    The oddest thing about the place is the great, the magnificent, Shashi River. The lower part of the river is a mile or two in width (more in places) of very deep sand with no water in sight most times. The water is there in astonishing quantities a few feet down. At the confluence it is joined by an itsy bitsy South African river, which due to bedrock on that side, usually has a little visible water flowing from it. Consequently, and to the shame of people who named it, it is the Limpopo that flows on to the sea. Thanks to Rudyard Kipling the Limpopo is a name that is familiar to most English speaking people, who know not of the great river that its name subsumes.

  29. I think this is a first for Botswana. I wish I could say the same for the island states, who have been whinging about their possible fate in the face of sea-level rise until some people have actually given them money to shut up and go away. Botswana is the very model of fiscal conservatism and climate sense in comparison.

  30. Botswana is one of Africa’s best run, best governed countries and deserves to be placed on a CAGW-interference free zone. They are quite capable of handling their own affairs and climate.

  31. Nigel Harris says:
    @ Roy UK – it was Anthony Watts’s comment “A shocking revelation. People actually go to Botswana” that seemed out of order to me. Nothing in the article itself. Clearly a lead-in written by Anthony Watts himself. Would he make the same sort of comment about somewhere like Texas, (to choose an area of the world of similar size), I wonder?

    I saw clearly implied /sarc in the comment. Perhaps Anthony should have been more explicit.

  32. Like others have said Botswana is one of the best managed African countries. I would say that it is indeed better managed than many European countries and USA itself…Botswana Public Debt 20%…

    If they go the Global Warming mania i expect that the good management will not last. The Global Warming Mania has many others tentacles.

  33. I must say the outrage exhibited to this point has been impressive, in its vehemence.
    When pertaining to a colloquialism, made in jest.
    PC is becoming irrational.

  34. Brian H says:
    June 6, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Anthony;
    About the hate mail: do a Breitbart. Publish it all, complete with email addresses.
    ____________________________________
    Brian you beat me to it.
    Tit for Tat

    I doubt if any of those sending mail to Anthony have ever even read this site or have more than 15 neurons among them (That is one less than our herd of sheep according to my husband.)

  35. It was intended as satire. Compared to Mr. Laden’s commentary I hope you can see the difference. I have nothing against Botswana, but I’m genuinely surprised that people actually go there on vacation/holiday. – Anthony
    _________________________________
    So am I Anthony, especially after a neighbor of my Father-in-law went to Africa, had a great time and dropped dead from an unknown disease a few weeks after returning home…

    I rather tour the USA.

  36. Can someone explain how a river that discharges into a desert will be affected by climate change? The river is sourced in the tropics so when the sky falls on our heads, do we expect more or less rain? The extent of the Kalahari basin and geologic extent of desert sands in southern Africa is enough to assure you that the climate has always changed. I count this fact as my introduction to AGW skepticism. There was a very clear indication that serious droughts followed the extents of re vegetated desert sands. There is also significant linkage between droughts in Southern Africa and El Nino events despite being half way around the world.

    Despite Anthony’s disbelief, it is a tourist hotspot and the delta is an amazing part of the country to visit if you have a fascination with wildlife although I haven’t been there in 20 years. I was involved in some preliminary work to build a new airport in Kasane to bring in more tourists and looked at some work to open up the Sua Pan for soda ash production. I would echo the comment above about great place to visit but I couldn’t live there although 2 million people do call it home. Check out the TopGear Botswana special for a snap shot of the wilder parts.

    They don’t need to cry poor in Botswana. They made good money from diamonds and have a stable democratic government that has reinvested the profits in development and industry! Add to that a thriving beef export trade and they could be the poster boys for what could be possible on the continent.

  37. Anyone interested in Botswana should find themselves a copy of the Top Gear African special episode, where they all purchase a couple of old used beaters and drive across Botswana in therm, hilariously modifying them to suit the local terrain. The underlying theme is that people of Surrey don’t really need to purchase a SUV to get up their driveway if you can cross Africa in a 30 year old 2wd vehicle. It’s very entertaining & spectacular at the same time, with the famed Top Gear photography and production 1st class.

    I, like Anthony, knew virtually nothing about Botswana until I saw this episode. But now I want to go there.

  38. A Scottish mate of mine lived in Botswana for a while – he was a gold miner in those days – and I went to visit him in late 1998. He had gone out to South Africa when he graduated in 1989 and in the nearly 10 years since I had last seen him he had metamorphosed from a quietly spoken liberal – with a very soft Glaswegian accent – into a loud Boer with a very strong South African accent. But still a very good bloke.

    We drove up, from where he lived in Francestown, north and crossed the border into Zimbabwe at Pandamatenga. The Zimbabwe currency was starting to go into free fall in the late 90’s and the country was really starting to go downhill. We stayed a couple of nights at the Victoria Falls – pretty spectacular even in the dry season.

    Some very well travelled friends of mine went to the Okavanga Delta in Botswana and said it was one of the best places they had ever been to. I’d recommend Botswana to anyone. It is definitely one of the better countries to visit in Africa.

    One thing I remembeer about Botswana – its currency is the “Pula”. This translates into “raindrop” and reflects the value put on the seasonal rains.

    Another wonderful word I remembered coincidentally last night – but had forgotten up until then- is “shongololo”. A shongololo is a big (4 inches/10 cm long) millipede with a pretty nasty bite. (I am currently working offshore Mozambique and travelled through Johannesburg Airport last night and there is a shop there called “Shongololo” which brought back the memory.

    My ex-goldmining Boer of a mate is now a trader in a commodities bank in London. Gone is the bush gear, rough beard and Boer accent – he’s now 3 piece suit and tie. And he’s still a great bloke – met up for a few beers with him last year when I was home.

  39. ex Southern African says:
    June 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Good post. Yes – Botswana is a rich country and they have been governed well. As ex South African says, they show what can be done in Africa.

    As i mentioned in a previous post I am working offshore Mozambique in their fledgling natural gas industry. Over the last few years enormous amounts of natural gas have been discovered offshore. Let’s hope they follow the Botswanan example.

  40. Anthony, thanks for your responses. Apologies that I mistook a genuine learning moment for a snarky comment.

    On the other hand, the automatic assumption that nobody would want to visit a country called Botswana about which you apparently know nothing (apart, perhaps from the fact that it is in southern Africa) is a little unfortunate. However, it is clearly a view widely shared by your American readership,like Gail Combs above, so they probably enjoyed the humour.

  41. As Geoff Adler says “There was a time however when the government were considering draining the [Okavango] delta in order to facilitate diamond mining.” I was actually the Deputy Team Leader and hydrologist on the team from IUCN which got the channel regrading stopped. The proposers claimed they would increase outflow from the delta by up to 50 million m3/year every year but in some years the outflow never reached the area earmarked for regarding so there would have been no increase.

    The delta’s ecosystem relies on the seasonal nature of the inflow. Currently the biggest potential threat is from hydropower development upstream which would destroy the seasonal pattern of flows.

  42. At London University, many years ago, I worked on an undergraduate project proposed by the Intermediate Technology Development Group – a group aiming to pring appropriate technology to developing countries. My project was to devise a wind powered machine that could pump – in particular, could pump dry the Okavango Swamps. Just as well I did not succeed in designing something that did the job!

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