Okavango Delta Valuation Study FINAL REPORT

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The Economic valuation study of the Okavango Delta in the ODMP project

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  • Cover

    Jane Turpie Jon Barnes

    Jaap ArntzenBertha Nherera

    Glenn-Marie LangeBaleseng Buzwani

    Jane Turpie Jon Barnes

    Jaap ArntzenBertha Nherera

    Glenn-Marie LangeBaleseng Buzwani

    Economic value of the Okavango Delta, Botswana,

    and implications for management

    Economic value of the Okavango Delta, Botswana,

    and implications for management

    Jane Turpie Jon Barnes

    Jaap ArntzenBertha Nherera

    Glenn-Marie LangeBaleseng Buzwani

    Jane Turpie Jon Barnes

    Jaap ArntzenBertha Nherera

    Glenn-Marie LangeBaleseng Buzwani

    Economic value of the Okavango Delta, Botswana,

    and implications for management

    Economic value of the Okavango Delta, Botswana,

    and implications for management

  • ECONOMIC VALUE OF THE OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA, and implications for management

    Jane Turpie1, Jon Barnes2, Jaap Arntzen3, Bertha Nherera4, Glenn-Marie Lange5, and Baleseng Buzwani3

    1Anchor Environmental Consultants jturpie@botzoo.uct.ac.za 2 Design and Development Services jibarnes@iafrica.com.na

    3 Centre for Applied Research jarntzen@car.org.bw 4 IUCN Regional Office for Southern Africa berthan@iucnrosa.org.zw

    5 The Earth Institute, Columbia University GL2134@columbia.edu

    November 2006

    Cover photos: main, inset 2 and 3: J Turpie; inset 1: E. Terry

    Anchor Environmental

    Consultants

    Anchor Environmental

    Consultants

  • i

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This project was funded by the IUCN and supported by the Directorate of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Okavango Delta Management Project. Our study team is grateful to the following: Mokgadi Monamati and Tsalano Kedikilwe of the DEA who worked with the team on the project and provided considerable support and assistance. Director of the DEA, Steve Monna, and other staff at the DEA, in particular David Aniku. The team in the ODMP Office in Maun, in particular Comfort Molosiwa and Portia Segomelo, who provided the team with strong, essential support and assistance. All the members on the project reference group. The enumerators who assisted with the field survey: D. Matswagothata, Julie Moalafi, K Thamuku, Kgalalelo Die, M. Ntema, Malebogo Pule, Neo Moetapele, S Ketlogetswe and Tiroyaone Habarad. The members of the community, community representatives, government officers, who provided assistance and who participated in our focus group discussions and the household survey. Staff at HOORC, particularly Constance Masalila who provided and assisted with a wealth of GIS data; private sector and NGO representatives, and others who assisted with information and gave of their time. Worthy of particular mention are Wilderness Safaris, and in particular Dave van Smeerdijk, who granted us special access to their operations. Jeppe Kolding from University of Bergen kindly provided data on fish catches and biomass. Hannelore and Helmut Bendsen provided us with excellent hospitality on several occasions. IUCN for inviting us to undertake the study, for funding it, and for the assistance and support provided by staff at the Botswana Country Office in Gaborone, and the ROSA Office in Harare. We are particularly grateful to Masego Madswamudse, Tiego Mpho, and Lenka Thamae. Sandie Fichat and Noah Scovronick provided editing assistance. ___________________________________

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    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Introduction The Okavango Delta, located in north western Botswana, is a renowned natural wonder of international biodiversity significance that also plays a key role in the economy of Botswana. A large inland delta, the sink of the Okavango River, the delta is listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. The Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP) is being developed in order to ensure the deltas long term conservation and its provision of benefits to society. The ODMP project is trying to assess the fundamental linkages and interdependencies between the hydrological functioning of the Delta, its ecology and the economy these support. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is supporting the development of the ODMP, as part of the Water and Nature Initiative in Southern Africa. This includes carrying out an economic valuation study of the Okavango Delta in conjunction with Botswanas Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). The overall objective of this study is to determine the economic value of the environmental goods and services of the Okavango Delta in order to evaluate the implications of a number of management and resource allocation options for the area. The report also provides recommendations that have a sound economic basis, which will help ensure future sustainable use of the Okavango Delta. While this study is not comprehensive, it will provide much of the information required by building on the considerable existing volume of relevant work that has been carried out on the Okavango Delta. Study area The Okavango Delta, situated at the northernmost edge of the Kalahari sandveld in north western Botswana, is the largest inland wetland in the world. From its headwaters in Angola, the Okavango River feeds the delta with 5-16 000 Mm3 (million cubic metres) of water per annum. This study was confined within the boundaries of the 55 599 km2 Okavango Delta Ramsar Site, which encompasses the entire Okavango Delta (wetland area) and the surrounding upland areas. The study area is, for the most part, a vast, gently undulating plain, apart from the slightly elevated areas in the extreme west. The semi-arid region is characterized by cold, dry winters and hot, wet summers with rainfall occurring mainly from November to March. With an average rainfall of only 500mm per annum, evaporation is 5 6 times higher and accounts for 95% of the deltas water loss. From where it enters Botswana, the Okavango River flows in a south easterly direction for just over 100 km (this section being known as the panhandle) before fanning out into the delta proper. The deltas ecosystems range from perennial swamps to dryland areas, which include a large arid island (Chiefs Island) in the middle of the delta. Although the zonation of land types has been described in different ways, the ODMP, which describes the entire Ramsar Site, recognise five land categories: water, normally flooded, seasonally flooded, occasionally flooded and rarely flooded areas. The pattern of flooding is roughly inverse to the pattern of rainfall. Floodwaters reach the panhandle in about April, and take several months to spread through the delta, reaching Maun in about August to October. As the floodwaters proceed, the inundated area expands from about 5000 km2 to between 6000 and 12 000 km2, depending on the size of the flood. Very little contribution is made by local rainfall. There have been changes in the distribution and amount of flooding over time, possibly due to increased evaporation, declining rainfall in the catchment, and tectonic activity. The soils are predominantly arenosols in the delta and Kalahari sands in the dryland areas. There is no significant agricultural potential in the Ramsar site. Vegetation of the delta is a mosaic of perennial swamps, seasonally-flooded open grasslands, woodlands and palm-fringed islands with forests. The delta is surrounded by mopane woodlands to the north east and acacia woodlands to the south west. The delta is a low nutrient system, although there are areas of relatively high productivity. Overall faunal diversity is fairly high, with about 80 species of fish, 115 species of mammals and over 500 species of birds, but few species are endemic to the area. Local level diversity and densities are

  • iii

    typically quite low. Nevertheless, the delta supports a high biomass of large herbivores, mainly due to the high numbers of elephant. Within the Ramsar site, wildlife populations are concentrated in the delta, primarily in Moremi Game Reserve, which is managed by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP). Several species are largely confined to the deltas permanently wet areas. Within the Ramsar site, all but 4.6% of land is under tribal land tenure, the remainder being state land. Usage rights are granted to Botswana citizens either communally or to individuals, usually for residential purposes, ploughing or boreholes. These rights are typically passed on through generations. In addition, citizens and non-citizens can acquire 50-year leases for commercial and industrial developments. Land cannot be sold, but the improvements or developments can. Ngamiland District is divided into 52 Controlled Hunting Areas (CHAs), of which 37 fall within the Ramsar Site. These are zoned as livestock, wildlife or multi-purpose (pastoral/arable/residential) areas. About half the study area, mainly within the delta, is under wildlife utilisation, with 9.4% in protected areas and 41.8% designated as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). WMAs can be either commercial (leasehold) or community-based (managed by community trusts), and can be for wildlife utilisation or photographic purposes. The remaining 48.8% is communal land area containing settlements, arable lands (mainly subsistence fields) and dominated by grazing lands. The distribution of cattle is limited by a cordon fence, with most of the delta being a cattle-free zone. Originally populated by the San, there is considerable ethnic diversity in the study area. The main groups are the Bayei, primarily fisher-farmers, the Hambukushu, primarily fishers, the Batawana, mainly livestock and dryland farmers, and the Baherero, primarily pastoralists. Refugees from Angola have also settled in the area in recent decades, introducing basket-making skills. The population is concentrated around the edge of the delta, along main roads. Half the population is in Maun and the remainder is largely concentrated around the Panhandle. There are at least 67 settlements, most of which contain fewer than 1000 people. In 2001 the population was about 111 000 people in 18 300 households. Children make up 53% and the elderly only 6%. Life expectancy is dropping mainly due to HIV/AIDS and 55% of households are female-headed. Most people are rural and poor, and have diversified production systems to reduce risks in an unstable environment. For the purposes of this study, the study area was divided into five zones, based on consideration of settlement patterns, land use and natural resource characteristics (Figure I):

    Figure I. Five zones defined for the study area

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    Panhandle

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    South-West

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  • iv

    The Panhandle zone is characterised by lack of floodplain area, the high numbers of settlements along the river, and the relatively high density and accessibility of fish and aquatic plant resources. There is little opportunity for recession agriculture (molapo farming). The West zone is characterised by numerous settlements and access to wetland and floodplain resources, including molapo farming areas. The South-west zone is relatively arid and sparsely populated. Its settlements follow what was formerly the outer margin of the delta, but these are now far from the wetland and floodplain areas. The South-east area is dominated by Maun and is relatively far from the main wetland areas, but does have reasonable access to some of the distributaries and floodplain areas. The Central zone is largely delineated on the basis of the buffalo fence and has wildlife as the main land use. This zone encompasses most of the wetland area, and there is very little upland area. While dominated by the Okavango Delta, it also includes the Linyanti-Chobe wetland areas on the north-eastern border of the study area. There are very few people living in this zone, in a few scattered villages as well as in association with some of the larger tourist lodges. The population of each of the zones is summarised in Table I. Ethnic composition differs markedly between the zones. Based on the sample from this study, the Panhandle is dominated by the Bahambakushu, the South West is dominated by Batawana and characterised by a high proportion of Baherero, and the remaining zones (West, Central and South East) are dominated by Bayeyi.

    Table I. Population of the zones

    Zone Population 2001 Household size (this study)

    Estimated number of households

    Panhandle 25,483 7.2 3,531 West 17,108 8.3 2,056 South West 9,193 7.5 1,226 South East 53,497 8.3 6,412 Central 1,475 7.3 202 Total 106,756 13,427 Approach and valuation framework The study builds on considerable work that has been carried out in the study area, as well as primary data collection using surveys. The study was conducted using both a Total Economic Value (TEV) framework and a National Accounting framework. The TEV framework was slightly modified to define four different types of values considered in this study:

    tourism value (both consumptive and non-consumptive direct use value); natural resource use by households (a consumptive use value); indirect use value (values generated beyond the study area due to services provided by the

    study area); and non-use value (option and existence value).

    Tourism value was estimated on the basis of existing information only. An inventory of tourism enterprises was compiled. Three types of enterprise models were developed or used in the study: a typical ecotourism lodge, a safari hunting enterprise, and a CBNRM model in which a tourism operation enters into agreement with a local community for use of their resources. Using the models in conjunction with the inventory and expert opinion, three methods were used to estimate turnover in the accommodation sector which provided a range of plausible estimates. A portion of this was then attributed to the delta, using defined ratios for different types of enterprises. Turnover values were divided into non-consumptive tourism, safari hunting tourism and CBNRM. Turnover in related sectors (e.g. expenditure on airfares) was estimated using ratios from a previous study. Direct value added was calculated based on the ratios of turnover to direct value added in the enterprise models. Household use of resources was quantified using pri...