NEWS 2005


Lawyer grills game reserves man

13 May, 2005

LOBATSE-The man incharge of the development of the country's national parks and game reserves was yesterday still under cross-examination by the applicant's counsel, Gordon Bennet in a case in which some Basarwa and Bakgalagadi are challenging their relocation from the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve.

Jan Broekhuis agreed with Bennet that the third draft of the management plan for the CKGR and Khutse was at some stage presented to the Ghanzi District Council.

He said the council and the District Development Committee were among the first to be consulted on the draft plan because the CKGR falls in their district.

Broekhuis agreed with the statement in the third draft of the plan that "in keeping with modern conservation principles, DWNP (Department of Wildlife and National Parks) has adopted the concept of collaborative management of protected areas, national parks and game reserves." During the drafting of the plan, he said DWNP carried out extensive consultations with the communities inside the CKGR and those at New Xade and Kaudwane.

Broekhuis concurred that a paragraph in the third draft plan on proposed community use zone (CUZ) gave the impression that the department had formed a position on the development of the zone.

The paragraph in question states, "it is recommended that there should be one Cuz and one trust for the communities outside the reserve, under the overall control of all villages." It also says that in that way, the communities would be obliged to meet and agree on certain issues with the hope of reducing conflict between them.

Broekhuis confirmed that ecologist Arthur Albertson who was contracted by the First Peoples of the Kalahari (FPK) to do research work for them in the CKGR, presented his work on the territorial boundaries and land use at a meeting of May 28, 2001.

He said the third draft of the management plan has been abandoned explaining that old drafts were superceded by the new ones.

He said he did not know the number of people who were residing in the CKGR when the third draft was prepared.

Broekhuis said throughout the preparation of the plan, consensus was the key word adding that he took no steps to verify the accuracy of Albertson's maps on territorial boundaries and land use in the CKGR because Albertson was not an employee of DWNP.

He could also not state whether Albertson complied with the terms of reference for his research work or not because he was not his employer.

Albertson was employed by FPK. BOPA