The role of human factors in the degradation of natural resources in and around the Okavango Delta, Botswana
PublisherTaylor & Francis, http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/00207233.asp
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This paper draws on archival information, anecdotal evidence from local communities, in situ observations during field investigation and multi-date remotely sensed satellite imagery. The authors investigated the role of human factors in the degradation of natural resources in and around the Okavango Delta. Their study concerned a period slightly in excess of 140 years between 1860 and 2001. Environmental changes in this sub-region appear to be the convergent outcome of interaction between natural and non-natural factors. A sustained decrease in rainfall appears to have instigated downward trends from a wide range of factors whose adverse effects were aggravated by human agency. The evidence points to progressive deterioration in the form of sustained contraction of surface water sources and grazing resources. Mistakes of the past need to be avoided by formulating appropriately informed human response and adaptation strategies.