16 Oct 2021
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De Beers in association with National Geographic Launches Okavango Delta Project
De Beers and National Geographic together have launched Okavango Eternal
By: Diamond World News Service
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Aug 26 2021 5:53PM
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Reference: 25818  

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Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta

De Beers and National Geographic together have launched Okavango Eternal, a strategic partnership to address one of the most critical conservation challenges in Africa.

The aim is to protect the source waters of the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the lives and livelihoods they support. The five-year commitment, which will help protect Africa's endangered species, ensure water and food security for more than one million people and develop livelihood opportunities for 10,000 people, aims to underpin the resilience and long-term recovery of the region in the years ahead.

The partnership is focused on working hand-in-hand with communities throughout the Okavango to deliver shared ecological solutions that lead to collective economic opportunity.

The Okavango Basin, spanning southern Angola, eastern Namibia, and northern Botswana, is the main source of water for the Okavango Delta. Located in northern Botswana, the Okavango Delta is one of Africa's most important ecosystems, unrivalled in its biodiversity, and home to the world's largest remaining elephant population as well as lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, and hundreds of species of birds.

The Okavango Delta's health is dependent on its source lakes and rivers, which carry water that originates as rain in Angola's highlands. While the Delta itself holds protected status, the Okavango Basin that feeds it does not, and the effects of climate change, deforestation and upstream commercial agriculture are putting this critical lifeline at risk.

Since 2015, the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project has been working to secure permanent, sustainable protection for the Okavango Basin. National Geographic has been joined by De Beers — which has worked with the people of Botswana for more than 50 years to advance education, healthcare, livelihoods, and wildlife conservation, as part of the company's Building Forever sustainability approach — to help secure protection for the Okavango Delta's headwaters.

Over the course of five years, De Beers will work together with National Geographic by providing support, expertise and funding to expand and accelerate work already underway, helping to establish sustainable local livelihoods in harmony with the Okavango Basin's conservation. The partnership will focus on protecting the natural world and supporting communities across Botswana, Namibia and Angola.

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