The Hydro-Politics of the Okavango Delta: Property Rights and the Management Implications of Competing Land and Water Use Strategies

The management of unique wetlands such as the Okavango Delta (northern Botswana) is determined by the competing de facto and de jure claims on water and on water dependent natural resources. The claims can be categorized as international, national, district and local assertions of access rights. These claims pose a common property resource management dilemma, because exclusion of access to water and wetland resources is problematic. Wherever exclusion is problematic a de facto common property resource management dilemma exists, because the various competing claims have to be negotiated sociopolitically. Understanding the competing claims and property rights, the levels of management involved and the institutions which are responsible for decisionmaking and enforcement of claims is a critical but often neglected step in management planning. This paper argues that the Okavango Delta is best managed by a joint jurisdiction regime involving multiple stakeholders at local, district, national and international levels. Key institutions dealing with the co-management of resources in the Delta are identified as possible models for future institution building. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]

Title: The Hydro-Politics of the Okavango Delta: Property Rights and the Management Implications of Competing Land and Water Use Strategies
Author: Hasler, Richard
Year: 2000
Periodical: Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Volume: 32
Pages: 73-83
Language: English
Notes: biblio. refs.
Geographic terms: Botswana
Southern Africa
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40980267
Abstract: The management of unique wetlands such as the Okavango Delta (northern Botswana) is determined by the competing de facto and de jure claims on water and on water dependent natural resources. The claims can be categorized as international, national, district and local assertions of access rights. These claims pose a common property resource management dilemma, because exclusion of access to water and wetland resources is problematic. Wherever exclusion is problematic a de facto common property resource management dilemma exists, because the various competing claims have to be negotiated sociopolitically. Understanding the competing claims and property rights, the levels of management involved and the institutions which are responsible for decisionmaking and enforcement of claims is a critical but often neglected step in management planning. This paper argues that the Okavango Delta is best managed by a joint jurisdiction regime involving multiple stakeholders at local, district, national and international levels. Key institutions dealing with the co-management of resources in the Delta are identified as possible models for future institution building. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]