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Turton, A. and Earle, A. 2004. An assessment of the parallel national action model as a possible approach for the integrated management of the Okavango river basin. Deliverable D6.2 of the WERRD Project funded by the European Union


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An assessment of the parallel national action model as a possible approach for the integrated management of the Okavango river basin.

Summary / Notes:

Managing a natural ecosystem such as a river presents a range of compromises and challenges, seeking to balance the need for development with the desire to protect the longterm environmental integrity of the system. The situation is compounded when the river crosses political boundaries – necessitating coordination between people with different goals formed because of different pressures acting on them. In the case of the Okavango River the situation is exacerbated by the instability the region has experienced over the past 30 years (Porto & Clover, 2003; Turton, 2004a; Turton & Earle, forthcoming). The development of a common vision between different stakeholders within a country needs to be carried out in consultation with stakeholders in the other basin states. The problem is that there is not a common forum through which this collaborative management can take place. People frequently feel alienated by the concept of the "state" – in some cases finding it easier to identify with people living across the border, on the other side of the river (see Map 1), than with institutions based in the capital city. This is particularly relevant in the Okavango River Basin where parts of the basin have been a theatre for the Cold War for many decades (Ashton, 2000; Ashton, 2001; Ashton, 2003:168-169; Porto & Clover, 2003; Turton, 2004a; Turton & Earle, forthcoming) and where massive social upheaval has been the result. A supra-national body for the management of the Okavango River is therefore not considered suitable under these conditions, particularly when sovereignty has been paid for with a high blood price and is thus jealously guarded by newly independent states (Turton, 2002; Turton & Earle, 2003a).

Year: 2004

Type: Report

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