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THE ROLE OF ECOTOURISM IN BIODIVERSITY AND GRASSLAND CONSERVATION IN BOTSWANA

Glyn Maude and Richard P. Reading
Great Plains Research
Vol. 20, No. 1 (SPRING 2010), pp. 109-119
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23782178
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
THE ROLE OF ECOTOURISM IN BIODIVERSITY AND GRASSLAND CONSERVATION IN BOTSWANA
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Abstract

Botswana has a variety of ecosystems, all of which support a multitude of wildlife species. The Kalahari is a vast semidesert that covers over 84% of the country. Grasslands along with scattered trees and drought-resistant undergrowth dominate large tracts of the Kalahari's landscape. The northeastern Kalahari extends into the wetter environments of Botswana—the Okavango Delta, the Savuti, and the Chobe—within which grassland habitats support abundant wildlife species. Botswana is unique in that most of its biodiversity remains intact, with a higher percentage of its total landmass conserved than any other country. Botswana achieves this level of protection primarily through ecotourism, which operates at several levels in working toward biodiversity conservation. Government policy on tourism aids ecosystem conservation in Botswana by employing a high-income, low-volume tourism policy. This paper examines and gives specific examples of where and how Botswana has used ecotourism as a tool for biodiversity and grassland conservation. It further looks at the other factors that play a role in successfully conserving Botswana's grassland habitats.

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