Thursday 12 March 2009

Botswana Park is to be Mined

Although I can understand the economic reasons, good reasons, it is a great shame that a major Botswana Park is to be Mined. The park is the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) and it is the largest in Botswana. 112 licenses have been granted over the last 6 years. It is just one more inevitable consequence of the population growth and economic expansion of Africa. Africa is full of minerals. The Chinese are probably behind this as they are already in other African countries and have an insatiable appetite for minerals to supply their manufacturing. This is where the park in question is:

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This park is huge, yes, which is an argument to mine part of it (it is 52,800 square kilometres or 32,800 square miles). But this is the thin edge of the wedge and a wide range of wildlife inhabit the park such as lion, cheetah, caracal, jackal, polecat, leopard, hyena, wild dog, aardwolf, fox and mongoose. And it isn't just the wildlife, the park has been the home of the Kalahari Bushmen for thousands of years. The cheetah is of particular concern as it is vulnerable with an ever diminishing population due to habitat loss (see cheetah habitat). This commercial activity is just more habitat loss. There is no stopping it.

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