World’s Largest Inland Delta

Crown Prince Haakon in Botswana. Photo: kongehuset.no

Crown Prince Haakon in Botswana. Photo: kongehuset.no

On Nov. 12, 2009, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon visited the Okavango Delta as part of his three-day trip to Botswana under the auspices of UNDP (United Nations Development Program)

Under the shade of the trees in the village of Samochima, the Crown Prince met with the local authorities and fishermen. The village is located in the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta. The Crown Prince took the initiative to talk to the people about fishing conditions in the delta. The women in the village – who are trained to fish and who carry out a large portion of the commercial fishing activity – demonstrated local fishing techniques.

Fishing trip

Fish is the most important source of protein in Samochima. However, the wetlands are vulnerable, and fisheries resources are a source of conflict between subsistence fishermen, commercial fisheries and tourists who fish for sport. UNDP is assisting the groups in finding a rational and sustainable regime for managing their fisheries resources.

The Crown Prince’s activities included a fishing trip with local fishermen.

It is estimated that 120,000 people are more or less dependent on the resources of the wetlands of the Okavango Delta. Approximately 47 per cent of the population in and around the enormous delta live under the poverty line and have not benefited from the country’s positive economic development to the same extent as other members of the population.

Xakanaxa

In the afternoon Crown Prince Haakon visited Xakanaxa in the Moremi Game Reserve to see how water resources are managed. The projects are part of a larger effort in which UNDP is assisting the Botswanan authorities in their efforts to fulfil their commitments under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

The Crown Prince is visiting Botswana in his capacity as Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP. He will conclude his trip on Friday with a visit to a research centre in Maun in northwest Botswana before returning to the capital of Gaborone to give a lecture on the UN Millennium Development Goals at the University of Botswana.

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