Following extensive in-country stakeholder consultations, including community engagements, representatives of the Republics of Botswana and Namibia convened in Kasane, Botswana, on 26 October 2023 to collaboratively finalise a draft Code of Conduct for use of the Kwando-Linyanti-Chobe River. With this recent engagement, development of the Code of Conduct, which has been underway for the past few years, is nearing completion
Earlier drafts of the Code of Conduct focused on the Chobe River however, following deliberations, the two countries resolved to extend its geographic scope to also include the Kwando-Linyanti systems.
The Kwando-Linyanti-Chobe River is used by both countries for game viewing, consumptive natural resource utilisation, public transport, and cross border trade. As such, the river is of particular importance for the livelihoods of adjacent communities, biodiversity conservation, and tourism development.
As both countries are part of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), and given the alignment of objectives of the Code of Conduct with the KAZA mission which speaks to integrated approaches to the sustainable use of shared natural resources and tourism development, this initiative was undertaken with facilitation support from the KAZA Secretariat.
With the impacts of natural resource use activities on the Kwando-Linyanti-Chobe River growing over time, the Code of Conduct is intended to guide the sustainable use of these shared waters by the two governments. The Code seeks to address challenges related to, amongst others, water pollution, fisheries, tourism, river traffic management, and law enforcement. It is also intended to increase citizen and visitor satisfaction in the participating countries.
Following the October 2023 meeting, in-country processes towards the endorsement and signing of the Code of Conduct will be undertaken.