Veld Products, Botswana. Veld Product Research & Development - Protecting Africa's Forests.

Capacity Building of Four NGOs for Community-Based Management of Veld Resources, Botswana

a.k.a. The "4 NGOs Project" a DANCED-funded initiative

Major parts of the natural woodlands in Botswana are communal land, and group formation in communities is a necessity for sustainable management of the natural resources in such areas. One way of initiating and sustaining such developments is to support NGOs working with the communities. In Botswana, NGOs are one of the most effective vehicles for empowering local communities to manage communal land sustainably. The four NGOs presented below are the major NGOs involved in the sector. All four of these NGOs are implementing partners in the project with VPR&D being the Executing Agency for the project.

The four NGOs are:
  • Veld Products Research & D (VPR&D), located in Gabane, a village twenty kilometres south-west of Gaborone where it has its main research site and nursery facilities.

  • Thusano Lefatsheng Trust (TL), a not-for-profit trust with production facilities, offices and accommodation located in the vicinity of Kumakwane, a village 12 kilometres west of Gabane.

  • Forestry Association of Botswana (FAB), with its head office and seedling "showroom" is in Gaborone and its main nurseries in Kumakwane.

  • Permaculture Trust of Botswana (PTB), located in Serowe, a large village of 32,000 people, 300 kilometres north of Gaborone.

The 4 NGOs project is a new initiative that commenced in June 1998 and will run for five years. The development goal to which the project will contribute in the long term is:

"Rural communities throughout Botswana manage veld products sustainably."

The project is contributing to the achievement of the development goal through the fulfilment of the following immediate objectives: The capacity of four NGOs to work with communities for sustainable management of veld products in a complementary manner strengthened by year 2002.

The implementation of the project is based upon the existing organisational structure of the four NGOs. However, the project improves the organisational structure by including a co-ordinating forum (the PMG) among the NGOs. This structure functions to create confidence, exchange information and join forces among the NGOs where it makes sense for the individual NGO and, by the end of the project, the NGOs will have tried in practise to provide complementary input (for the benefit of the communities) and to provide joint input for advocacy and policy development e.g. the Forest Policy. By strengthening the core competence of these NGOs the project will enhance the sustainability of the organisations.

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