Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lessons From Durban: Bottom's Up!

Dark clouds gather over the fifth day of meetings in Durban South Africa, where the world's leaders met to discuss Climate Change.
In the aftermath of the COP17 event in Durban where the Creating A Climate For Change Project was launched, a few things became clear to me.  One was that I had been working very hard without a break for three months, and needed to take some time off.  The other much more important thing was that these large conferences between nations are not delivering the change we need to see in order to lower our dependence on fossil fuels.  Nations are struggling, either with a need to develop or with a need to keep their economies afloat.  When times are tight long-term attempts to reduce fossil fuel dependency are going to be a very tough sell, unless there is a clear short-term financial and electoral benefit.

So some will look at Durban as a huge success, particularly high-end polluters like China and the United States.  They will toast "business as usual" as their economies struggle onward, wholly dependent upon fossil fuel use, without the necessary spending on sustainable alternatives. Essentially the conference skirted all of the major issues and settled for an understanding that we do need an agreement, but that we should decide all of that later, at least four years from now, preferably longer. This is bad news for scientists and farmers who understand that we are really putting ourselves in a very bad future position by not regulating greenhouse gas emissions now.

It became crystal clear to me on this project through Southern Africa that there is an urgency to stop the runaway greenhouse effect, a very real need that is having dire consequences for people across this region and the rest of the world.  I have argued on this blog and in my writing for both Global Post and Link TV that one of the reasons we are in a downward economic spiral is because we are using our planet's resources unsustainably.  Higher food prices, especially basic commodities like corn and wheat, mean less cash in the financial sector and less money everywhere to fuel further growth. Check out these well-made graphs tracking food prices worldwide.  World corn and wheat prices have again shot up by 50% in the last half of 2011, and are higher now than in 2008, and this will again have a knock effect in virtually every part of our global economy. 

In the project I spoke to Dr. Anthony Turton, an economist and water resource manager who looks  at water and food security through the lense of National Security.  This former secret service operative  helped bring the ANC and and National Party together for a dialogue in the 1980s, and eventually helped unveil the new constitution in South Africa in 1994.  He is not an environmentalist, but a realist who at one time received funding from the national and international security establishment to look at environmental problems as national security issues.  He says "Our global economy is a subsidiary of our global ecosystem".  When the ecosystem declines the economy will too, and it is my opinion -and many others that this is exactly what is happening right now.

Barring some game changing energy technology or a cataclysmic event in our personal, political or environmental horizon, it seems we are stuck with government inaction at the highest levels for the next twenty years at least.  However, as I learned at COP17 and in my work, many people are already working across the world at changing the status quo from the bottom up. Small energy projects in places like Mozambique, China's emergence as a huge developer of green energy technologies, grassroots recycling movements, buying an electric car, these are all part of the way we can start to live sustainably with our planet today.  It is obvious that we the people are the only ones who can make change happen now, and the sooner we get started the better.

The Rooftop of the Re-Purpose Center in Durban.  Cabbages and other foods complement local plants and a chessboard in this roof-top garden right in the center of the city.

At the Repurpose Center in Durban a group of concerned citizens and architects got together with the city of Durban to help revitalize the city center, provide more jobs, and create rooftop gardens that preserve endemic South African plants while providing nutrition for underprivileged communities.  This center is an example of exactly how grassroots movements can become mainstream and make a huge difference in their communities.  With enough projects like this, humanity can learn to become better stewards of our environment, and create the changes that will make us all more healthy, happy and help us look after our global ecosystem -and in turn our economy. 

Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Exhibition Online

Ancient Baobabs Tower above an island deep in the Jakotsha Trust Conservation Area in the Okavango Delta.  This Baobab below is dying as the ecosystem that supported it for at least a thousand years changes.

Elephants like this family herd  on the Maramba River in Zambia are already ranging across borders.  These elephants trundled down to the river from the Zimbabwe side, drank their fill and moved on into Zambia as the sun set.

The Omaruru River in flood in Namibia.  This year Namibia experienced more than twice its normal rainfall in many areas of the country.  This image was taken from a road that almost never floods. More variability in climate can be expected as Southern Africa warms.

A Zebra ranges across the Torra Conservancy in Namibia at sunset.  The conservancy is one of the best run in the country, and allows local communities to benefit from tourists, helping finance the protection of of this ecosystem, as well as lions, elephants, giraffe, rhino, and even this one lone Zebra.

Another path winds into the distance at the Tora Conservancy in Namibia.  This year the grass grew over the rocky soil, and turned this desert landscape into a garden.  If Humanity to is to survive the coming changes, then we will have to embark on another path, one that sees us as custodians of our environment.

A true-to-color thunderstorm rolls into the Damaraland area of Namibia, lit by the setting sun.  As southern Africa’s climate warms, violent thunderstorms, searing droughts and more variable weather is predicted.

A typical high-veld thunderstorm rolls across the grasslands of the Cradle of Humankind, near Johannesburg South Africa.  New discoveries here highlight the evolution of our species here in Africa.  Today, Africans are part of a global solution that will hopefully see our species continue to thrive in the face of climate change.

The power of nature reigns after a downpour over the springtime landscape at Golden Gate National Park on the border between Lesotho and South Africa.

The Namib Desert Above Gobabeb Trai

Oom Pieter Bees, 76 from the Topnaar Community in Namibia’s Namib Desert.  “The Climate here has changed, when I was younger we used to have many more wet years”.

Piet Kruger, a Baviaanskloof Farmer who has sold his sheep and is replanting his farm with Spekboom bushes. In his gravelly voice looking out over his farm before a big storm system rolls in, he  says: “If I can farm buffalo, or elephants, or just the wild bushveld I will be happy, but I don’t think we will ever farm again here like we used to.  We have to change”.

Many people work planting spekboom in the western part of the Baviaanskloof.  At Zevenfontien (Seven Fountains) Community Farm in the western Bavianskloof Mountains community elder Jacob Deinaar Van Mathews talks to Hans vin Voegue in Jacob’s house on the farm.  Hundreds of people live on the farm and some of them find work restoring the landscape by planting spekboom.

Topnaar Communities in the Namib Desert are getting assistance from the Gobabeb Training and Research Center in how to evaluate their livestock, so they can make more informed decisions.  Only through education can small communities adapt to climate change.

In the north of Zambia near the town of Mpika the ladies of the Mupumbishi Women’s Club help each other sort out their seed grain for their next bean crop.  Beans and other legumes like peanuts are one of the main elements of Conservation Farming.  There are more than 300,000 Conservation farmers in the country.

Near Mchinji in Malawi small farmers are working in conservation farming methods as a way to adapt to Climate Change.  Eight year old Brian Phiri holds up a bowl full of peanuts.  Conservation farming has changed his life, since now his family has enough money to send him to school.

Max Thokabotshabelo, a community guide from the Okavango Delta in Botswana, poles his Makoro canoe through the papyrus as night falls.  In the distance a hippo grunts, and the swish of the grass past the Makoro blends with the rising sound of night insects.  “Nature is the best for relieving stress” says Max.

Johanna Swartz runs a team of Spekboom planters in the Baviaanskloof on contract for the Gamtoos Irrigation Board, with help from the NGO Living Lands.
“There is a great change in my life, because all the things I needed and can’t buy before, I can buy them now. I don’t struggle with money any more.  Now there are opportunities I would grab, too, things that I love”.

This is an online version of the exhibition  Creating A Climate For Change, which is currently touring South Africa. It was made possible through a grant from the Open Society of Southern Africa and the Open Society Foundation For South Africa.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Creating A Climate For Change -The Movie

The Half hour movie Creating A Climate For Change is undergoing a second edit, it will be re-released at the beginning of 2011. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

702 Talk Radio Profiles The Journalist

The show went great last night.  Pictures and a full report will be up in the next few days.  We had native American people from the mountains of Ecuador, top officials from the United Nations, local and international media like the Associated Press, and lots of African delegates and people from the NGO sector.  More than a hundred people crowded into the Corner Cafe and enjoyed food cooked by Judd and the crew.  The film was a success, and a good time was had by all.

Here is a LINK to one of our biggest radio shows in South Africa, produced by Jenny Cryws Williams.  Jenny invited me on her show for about a half an hour.  Here is the podcast for the show.

More on the exhibition and film launch as well as COP17, and a sneak view of some amazing technology.  For now I am off to Oceans Day here at the Durban Climate Change Conference.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chapter 3 Creating A Climate For Change

The KAZA Park: A Regional Response to Climate Change

This is a land of wilderness where a million vulnerable people farm on marginal land, exposed to the climactic variability that is a hallmark of Climate Change.  It is also elephant territory. An estimated 140,000 elephants, more than a third of Africa’s remaining population, call this area home. 

Chobe National Park in Botswana is expected to be one of the "seed" parks for a grand plan of conservation and social upliftment that will help southern Africa deal with the effects of climate change through regional water management and a single management plan based on natural systems.

Assisted by the South African Peace Parks Foundation, the five African countries of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, agreed in August 2011 to create the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. This not only allows the elephants to roam free across borders, but creates a framework to protect and share their precious water resources. The Kaza, it is called, is 29 million hectares, an area about the size of Italy. 

Werner Myburgh is the chief executive director of the Peace Parks Foundation, sitting at their offices far away in Stellenbosch South Africa, he explains of this ambitious project.
“One of the big objectives of the Peace Parks Foundation is to facilitate the process where you look at the management of integrated ecosystems across international boundaries.”

The Foundation is a facilitator for a dialogue between all of the stakeholders in the region.
“So we help governments in each of those countries initiate the process where you bring together private sector, communities and government around one table and say, well what do you think is the future of this area?”

This integrated approach to conservation is vital for semi arid countries facing the combined challenges of food and water security in a time of a changing climate. It is also vital for protecting the migration routes of the  wildlife, and both of these elements are essential for creating sustainable livelihoods in the area.

One of the pillars of the KAZA project is the official protection of two rivers, the Zambezi and the Kavango.  Dr. Anthony Turton is a South African Hydrologist specializing in water resource management in the Kaza area. “The former colonial powers used rivers as borders, whereas the previous, precolonial dispensation used rivers as a means of transport, as a means of connecting people.”

Africa inherited the borders that were created during the colonial area, but the Kaza will see the precolonial values of rivers restored, and will help secure these two great watersheds from the ravages of climate change, deforestation and overconsumption.   Water is the key not only to life, but prosperity as well, and the Kaza plan and researchers like Dr. Turton are helping shape the future of this precious resource.

Turton literally wrote the book on the Okavango Delta's water system.  He sees water, ecosystems, development and economies inextricably linked together. “If our national economy is a wholey owned subsidiary of our national hydrology, then our global economy is a wholey owned subsidiary of our global ecosystem. So ecosystems matter because actually this is the life support system provider for planet earth.”

This is the area of Southern Africa that will most likely see the largest effects of climate change, according to climate modeler Francois Engelbrecht of South Africa’s Center for Industrial and Scientific Research. “So both of these river catchments are unfortunately located right in the subtropics. That is specifially the area of Southern Africa that is projected to dry the most. It is also the region of southern Africa that is projected to warm very rapidly and these are absolutely drastic rises in the surface temperature. “

The area is already experiencing climactic changes that are making farming more difficult.  Matshelu "Max" Thokabotshabelo sits under a jackleberry tree deep in the Okavango, keeping out of the burning noon sunshine.  "Before, people here could rely on farming, but now they can’t because the rainfall here is more variable”. He is a community game guide from the Etsa community in the north west of the Okavango Delta in Botswana.  Here many young Botswanans are turning to tourism as farming becomes more difficult.

He knows about the Kaza Park plan and he wants it to help protect the waters that flow from Angola, through Namibia and into the the unique waters system of the Okavango.  “It’s very important that we implement the Kaza plan, so that we can try and manage our water resource here, thereby sustaining the Okavango Delta.”

Community conservation systems like the Jakotsha Trust where Max works as a guide are being used to guide the creation the Kaza.  The Kaza plan is not just about widllife and conservation, it seeks to include communities and rural farmers in the overall land use plan.

The area has low land fertility, poor soils, and increasingly variable rainfall.  With Climate Change making farming a losing proposition, everyone involved hopes that the creation of the Kaza will bring more visitors.  The tourism industry is already the biggest employer in the area,  and in this way it’s possible to bring jobs, training and a new future to the nearly 1 million people who live in and around the boundaries of this vast park. 

The success of the tourism industry is dependent upon the conservation of the wild herds that roam this area. By creating financially beneficial alternatives to farming, the Kaza plan creates an appropriate whole system approach to sustainable land use.

Victoria Falls is the park’s centerpiece.  Here the Zambezi River flows into the Batoka Gorge, along the border with Zimbabwe and Zambia, through Mozambique and into the Indian Ocean.  The falling waters will take months to get there, and on their way they will sustain millions of people.  As this region warms up and dries out, the very lives of the many people who rely on these two great rivers is in the balance, but Turton believes the Kaza Plan will help secure a better future for the people here.
“One of the important things that the Kaza type thinking will bring about is a reinforcing of the human rights of those very marginalized groups by the emergence of a transboundary management of natural resources such as water, such as landscapes.”

These forward thinking ideas in transboundary management are being accepted and understood on a regional level here in Southern Africa as it starts to face the reality of a changing climate. As the plan evolves to take advantage of the realities on the ground, the elephants have already started to expand their range into the new areas of the park, taking advantage of new water sources in Angola when rains are plantiful, or keeping close to the riverine highways in Botswana when rains are scarce, a living example of how to take advantage of a variable climate.

Chapter 2 Creating A Climate For Change

Gobabeb Training and Research Center:  Science In The Sand

It is morning in the shifting sands of the Namib Desert, and the little laceritid lizard, Meroles anchietae is out looking for his breakfast of seeds and insects. This reptile is perfectly adapted to the scorching days of one of the worlds most variable ecosystems.  Dancing like a child on a hot beach this local lizard, found nowhere else in the world, cools its alternate feet in the wind allowing for a few more minutes of foraging and breeding before it is forced to dive under the sand and escape the mid-day sun.

Miya Kabajani, a young Namibian researcher working on the long term monitoring program  at Gobabeb Research Center studies how the animals and plants have adapted to this variable climate, and what lessons they may teach us about how we can adapt to climate change.

Watch the film:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chapter 1 Creating A Climate For Change

Part of the four-part video series about Climate Change in Southern Africa, one of the areas of the world we are already seeing large changes in climactic conditions and where we are projected to see double the warming of the rest of the planet. 

The video, part of the Open Society Fellowship I am working on, follows an exciting project in the striking Baviaanskloof mountains of South Africa, where a new type of collaboration between all the stakeholders of this damaged landscape have come together to help restore it, and in the process created a model of how we can survive and thrive in a warming world.

Jeffrey Barbee


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Back From The Wild

Eight days ago we were far in the north of Zambia in the miombo woodlands and farmlands meeting with farmers and the Conservation Farming Unit.  Over the last eight days we made our way south, back through the Kazungula ferry at the heart of the new KAZA Transfrontier Conservation Area and south to Johannesburg.  With the trip done, this week we have been conducting the final interviews with climate scientists and water specialists here and now we start the editing process. 

In the midst of this, we have been selecting the images for the exhibition for the official launch of the project on the 2nd of December at the Corner Cafe in Durban and I am delighted to invite any readers of this blog who may be at the conference to come and enjoy a sustainable dinner, see the images of southern Africa's climate and watch a private screening of the film. 

As part of this Open Society Fellowship, there will be a series of four short films screened on South Africa's ETV, the South African Mail and Guardian, and broadcast in the USA on Linktv.org both on television and online  through their website.  Global Post will also be hosting the films on their website, and links to these projects will be forthcoming as the films are finished over the next week. 

Herewith is a small selection of pictures from the last days of the trip as a photographic journal.  I would like to give a special "thank you!" to our dynamic team who helped make this project a success, as well as all the great people who helped us along our way.  I am indebted to them for their great assistance in what was a very difficult but rewarding fact-finding trip.
Jeffrey Barbee

A forest tree near Victoria Falls.  The Miombo Biome covered most of southern Africa, shielding the land from the sun, but with increased population, the forest has given way to fields and the region's need for fuel.

The rising full moon at Elephant Sands in Botswana

Elephant Sands, Botswana. "Where Elephants Rule"

The last sunset of the trip, in Botswana, before heading into Johannesburg.

A moon halo, also called a "moon dog" in the miombo woodlands of Zambia.

A young female Kudu tries to understand her reflection in my camera lens.

Conservation Agriculture, the fifth stage of conservation farming, near Lusaka, Zambia.

Elephants at daybreak at Elephant Sands, Botswana.  These young bulls pushed through the trees next to my bed, waking me up and getting me on my way south.

It's best not to ride the hippos at Maramba River Lodge in Zambia, the night before crossing into Botswana.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


The termites are swarming around our campsite at the appropriately named Forest Inn on the road between Kapiri Mposhe and the Tanzanian border in Zambia’s northwest.  There is a termite in my shirt and I am battling to keep them away from my computer screen.  After the first solid rains of the season the termites crawl out of the ground and these females swarm, looking for a place to make a new colony.  This typically marks the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rains.  Lately however, as we have been learning today from conservation farmer Charles Mwanyambo, the rains have been less dependable.

“I switched to conservation farming because of Climate Change” he explains, sitting in his small holding near Chomwe village.  Conservation farming helps farmers adapt to Climate Change by diversifying their crops, retaining moisture in the soil, expanding the planting season, assisting root penetration and providing greater yields.

According to Jeremy Selby of the Zambian Conservation Farming Unit, the five principles of conservation farming are:

Minimal Soil Disturbance
Farmers plow only about ten percent of their field in tight rows, years after year.  This is much less work and help the land retain biomass and fertility.

Crop Rotation
By planting a legume that fixes nitrogen in the air every other year, farmers increase yields, reduce their need for expensive fertiliser and produce cash crops like peanuts which also improves rural diets.

Retain Crop Residues
Crop residues like maize stalks are laid down between rows to help the soil retain moisture and protect it from torrential rains storms, which have become more common with the climate changing here in Zambia.

Early Preparation of Fields
By preparing fields early, farmers are more likely to benefit from erratic rainfall, and allows them to plant on time.  Studies have shown that farmers can lose as much as 1 1/2 percent of their yield per day by delaying planting.

Conservation Agriculture
By inter-cropping fields with leguminous trees, crops benefit from shading, extra nitrogen, and reduced pests and weeds.  The trees chosen are Zambian in origin and sprout leaves in the dry season, and produce seeds which are edible by both people and animals.

The Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) has been working in Zambia for 16 years, and works in a public private partnership with the Zambian Government’s Department of Agriculture.  Selby believes that conservation agriculture is partly responsible for the success of Zambia in becoming a net food exporter for the last five years.

Conservation farming can be employed on large and small farms in any region of the world.  Everyone can benefit from this farming technology that has had such a huge impact here in Zambia. Hammer Simwinga, a Goldman Environmental Prize winner who runs The Foundation for Wildlife and Habitat Conservation in Mpika agrees that Zambia has something to teach the world about living sustainably with nature, and that conservation farming can help Africans adapt to Climate Change.

Tomorrow we are heading south, and tonight, while we listen to the sounds of the cicadas and the crickets interspersed with the trucks on the nearby road, I think of the connections in Africa along highways like this, and how goods are dispersed by the trucks passing by.  Zambia’s CFU has opened offices in Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other African countries, spreading information that has seen tens of thousands of Zambian farmers like Charles increase their crop yields and reduce their inputs, making them wealthier and more successful, even in the face of Climate Change.

Jeffrey Barbee
November 8, 2011
Northern Zambia

Jeff with Charles Mwanyambo at his conservation agriculture farm in northern Zambia.  He had a small pilot project going for a few years and has now converted his whole farm to conservation farming practices.
Trees from the Miombo Biome in northern Zambia are under threat from slash and burn agriculture.
The terrain of northern Zambia is a mixture of rocky outcrops like these and large plateaux covered in forest trees.
Much of the land that was cultivated historically has started to return to trees as people cut the old growth forest and new saplings like these have started to regrow.
Mutinondo Forest Reserve near Mpika, Zambia.  The reserve covers an important river catchment system for the Luangwa River.
Goldman Prize winner Hammer Simwinga with some of the children of Saloma Village.
Agnus Mumbi, 60, conservation farmer and chairwoman of the Mupimbishi Women's club at Saloma Village.
Hammer Simwinga showing how to harvest seed at the  Mupimbishi Women's club at Saloma Village.
A conservation farming plot near Livingston, Zambia. Conservation farming is being rolled in all districts of the country.
Fires set to clear fields or drive out wild animals burn uncontrolled in the Southern province of the country.
Elephants graze in the future KAZA park on the banks of the Maramba River, near Livingston Zambia
Elephants graze in the future KAZA park on the banks of the Maramba River, near Livingston Zambia.
Elephants graze in the future KAZA park on the banks of the Maramba River, near Livingston Zambia.
Charles Mwanyambo at his small farm near Chomwe village.  The Conservation Farming Unit hopes to have three thousand conservation farmers in the district.
Charles Mwanyambo at his small farm near Chomwe village.  The Conservation Farming Unit hopes to have three thousand conservation farmers in the district.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Congo DRC border with Zambia

On the road on the Congo DRC border with Zambia.  Its wet and feels far from home.  Had good interviews with conservation farmers yesterday.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Rains Have Come

Victoris Falls today, left, during the lowest time of the year.  Right, the same spot in June, 2011.  Seasonal variability in climate is normal, but if climate change affects this region in the future, the annual flood may not come. By managing this waterway across the countries' borders, millions of people who rely on the Zambezi River for their livelihood may look forward to a more certain future.
We have been traveling up from the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA).    This huge park, bigger than Italy, was signed into existence by the heads of five countries in August this year.  It will create a cross-border water management system that will help these countries develop their water resources sustainably, and help them adapt to inconsistent weather and climate change.  The rest of the world can learn from this type of cooperation and this segment of the documentary I am producing as part of this Open Society Fellowship looks at this grand project from the local community level to the project designers, and shows how it may not only help address climate change, but uplift communities and “creates a climate for change”, the theme behind this project. 

Today we are in Lusaka, Zambia, on our way to a small town in the northwest called Mpika.  It is drizzling outside the thatch roof, a change in the weather of the last two weeks which saw us struggling through 47 degree centigrade temperatures day after day.  With the thunder and lightning of last night it seems that at least on the central plateau of Zambia the rainy season has come again to southern Africa.  We have been following this seasonal variability closely, since the region is essentially in a drought for half the year and enjoys rainfall the rest of the time.  A big fear here is that with climate change, the rainy season may not come every year like it does now.  Already it’s much more sporadically timed than it was during the 20th century, and this puts rural farmers at great risk of hunger. 

So now we are on our way to Mpika to meet with Hammer Simwinga, a Goldman Prize winner who has help roll out a sustainable farming system around North Luangwa National Park that has changed the lives of thousands of farmers by diversifying their crops away from monoculture maize production and educating them to become custodians of their environment.  They have greater food security, and are much less prone to climate change events.  When Simwinga won the Goldman prize, I went up with writer Mike Wines to take pictures of him for the New York Times.  I was encouraged  by his low-key approach to development that works and is good for the environment.

We will be staying in the forest and living with a farming community who works with Simwinga’s project.  We will be in touch on our  satellite and upload a few updates from the road.

November 3, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Okavango Delta

We have made our way across southern Africa to one of the most sensitive ecosystems in the world.  We are camped on a small island in the Okavango Delta.  This system and the one next door, the Zambezi depend upon regular rainfall.  In times of climactic variability, systems like the Okavango help illustrate those changes.  We have come here to see how a new park plan is paving the way for the five countries to become partners in cross-border water management, not only to adapt better to climate change, but to create a holistic approach to management of all types: water, ecosystem services, wildlife management, and even education.

Link to more stories on the blog about KAZA

It is hot in the Delta, and overcast.  The record flood of 2011 has subsided, and the rain has yet to start in earnest.  The Cicadas are singing through the heat of the day, and sweat drips into the keyboard of my computer.  We are off to interview local community guides about their opinion on the future of the KAZA park project.

Jeffrey Barbee, October 29, 2011
Okavango Delta

A cattle buying
The cattle industry in Botswana is one of the country's largest cash earners.  Small and large scale cattle farming is at risk from Climate Change, since the Khalahari Desert is such a water-scarce place, any variability in climate can put industries like this in jeopardy.  The Kentrek Enterprises cattle auction in Ghanzi, Botswana has six thousand head of cattle (like these pictured) for sale.
A big baobab tree on the way from Windhoek to The Okavango Delta dwarfs the project vehicles.
Our island camp deep in the Okavango Delta, where we are meeting with local community guides who are excited about the
Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.  This park, which I have written about extensively in this blog
(LINK TO STORIES), covers the Okavango and Zambezi watersheds, and helps the five countries of Angola, Namibia, Botswana
and Zambia adapt to climate change by managing the watersheds of these two huge river systems as a whole.
Poling a fiberglass makoro canoe through the waters of the Okavango Delta.  This huge inland Delta is very sensitive 
to seasonal Climate Change, and the project is looking at how this system may change in the future, affecting the 
lives of hundreds of thousands of people who depend upon it.
Watching a large herd of elephants near victoria falls
Guma Lagoon in the north part of the Delta.  The lagoon is a good fishing ground for local subsistence fishing during the drier months
of the year.
Journalist Jeffrey Barbee shooting video while traveling down the Thaoge channel in the Okavango Delta.
Papyrus stands high above the waters of the Okavango.  Sometimes local farmers mistakenly burn the grass in the hot dry season,
like it is now.  This clogs the natural systems of the Delta, contributes to Climate Change, and provides no net benefit to those who
burn.  Education is clearly the best way for communities around the Delta to help manage this important water resource.