MPs call for end to "bickering" with Basarwa

*Want priority for wildlife over people reviewed

The Member of Parliament for Maun West, Tawana Moremi, has called for a harmonious resolution to "the bickering" between government and Basarwa over relocation of the latter from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) in order not to taint Botswana's tourism industry.Moremi appealed to the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, to protect the industry because the country's economy is heavily dependent on tourism and diamond revenues. Debating the Revised Wildlife Policy in Parliament yesterday, Moremi said President Ian Khama should encourage the Minister of Justice, Defence and Security Ndelu Seretse to expedite conclusion of the case. He said an amicable close to this case would silence Survival International and other critics while prolonging it was hurting tourism.

Appearing to disregard the rights of Basarwa, Moremi said, gave SI ammunition to campaign against Botswana diamonds and tourism.
"A comprehensive human-wildlife approach is needed," he said. The MP for Okavango, Bagalatia Arone, entered the debate by saying the perception that the government values animals more than people is rife in his constituency. A more human-centric strategy is overdue, especially for the Okavango where people are inherently conservationist. "Every area had wild animals in this country and many did not conserve this resource (while) our people in the Okavango did, yet they do not benefit from their actions," Arone said. It is disheartening that while the Okavango is the richest in wildlife, its people are the poorest and are often killed by animals, he added.

Editor's Comment
A step in the right direction

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