Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 238

Full Length Research Paper

Integration of traditional ecological knowledge and western science in natural resources management in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Gondo Reniko
  • Gondo Reniko
  • Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Private Bag, 285, Maun, Botswana.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 29 October 2021
  •  Accepted: 15 February 2022
  •  Published: 30 November 2022


Since time immemorial indigenous people (IP) utilised resources to meet their cultural needs. While the long-established utilisation of these resources modified land, however, the alteration was negligible with fewer detrimental impacts on the environment. The adoption of Western Science (WS) saw people shunning the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), resulting in accelerated resources degradation. Utilising institutional bricolage theory, this study combined remote sensing, geographical information systems, literature review and survey data to examine land use and land cover (LULC) change in three villages within the Okavango Delta and the role of TEK in resources management with a special reference to vegetation, land and water. Results revealed a widespread conversion of land and related resources and also that the adoption of formal education and religions significantly affected the utilisation of TEK in the management of resources. The study concludes that TEK is vital and is crucial in the conservation of natural resources.


Key words: Indigenous, land use and land cover (LULC), Shakawe, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), remote sensing, religion, water.