Okavango facts

The combined population of people in the Cubango - Okavango basin in 2000 was 1,113,000; of these, 76% resided in Angola, 13% in Namibia, and 11% in Botswana. Even taking into account mortality from HIV/AIDS and other diseases, the population is expected to increase to 1,686,000 by 2020.

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Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP)

Cubango Okavango River Basin Water Audit Project (CORBWA)
The ODMP is a groundbreaking effort on the part of the Government of Botswana to integrate government planning for all the natural resources of the Okavango Delta region.

National and district consultations on wetland management issues and specifically on the management of the Delta resources have been conducted over the past two decades. Land use conflicts are common and resource management strategies are not always in harmony. It has been realised that efforts to address these issues need to be supported by appropriate planning and management tools and the Okavango Delta Management Plan will assist in this regard.

Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP)

Three countries share the Okavango River Basin. It begins in the highlands of Angola, and flows 1,200 km downstream through the narrow Caprivi Strip of Namibia and empties in Botswana where it forms an alluvial fan known as the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is a unique feature which is habitat to diverse biological resources, characterized by extraordinary and complex hydrological and ecological processes and  home to 124,000 inhabitants. The Okavango Delta is a magnificent piece of creation which is sometimes referred to as the “jewel of the Kalahari”. It is indeed an oasis in the deep expanse of the Kalahari Desert.

The Okavango Delta forms the core of one of the largest declared Ramsar sites or Wetlands of International Importance (the Okavango Delta Ramsar Site has an area of about 55,324 km2).  Because it is located at the tail-end of the Okavango river system, Botswana is aware of legitimate upstream water use needs and their potential impacts on downstream uses. Botswana has a strong interest in protecting the socio-economic status of the Delta’s communities and the economy of Botswana at large. To this effect the Government of Botswana developed the Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP) in 2001. Support to implement development of the plan was secured from the World Conservation Union (IUCN), Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA), German Development Corporation (DED) and Swedish International Development (Corporation) Assistance (Sida).

Developing a management plan for such a system was challenging for the Department of Environmental Affairs that was responsible for coordinating the work, as the plan provides a contextual framework within which all other sector plans should operate within the North West District – the political region that encompasses the Delta. Across the sectors, the ODMP strives for sustainable use of the Okavango Delta’s natural resources in the context of the guiding principles of Botswana’s National Vision 2016.

The ODMP is now in its implementation phase and is providing a basis for promoting application of concepts such as the ecosystem approach, integrated planning and Integrated Water Resources Management. The ODMP was used as a basis for the preparation of the Botswana National Action Plan within the auspices of the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM). Furthermore, the ODMP will be enhanced by other initiatives such as the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).

The ODMP is implemented by Botswana’s Department of Environmental Affairs.

Okavango Delta Management Plan ( ODMP )

Contact details:

Department of Environmental Affairs, Government of Botswana
P.O. Box 35, Airport Industrial,
Maun, Botswana
Tel: +267 680 1237
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