Environmental Security in Botswana

  • October 15, 2011
  • Mr Brent C Bankus

The continent of Africa is important to U.S. national security interests, and on that continent regional security increasingly turns on human security. Long known for its influence over critical choke points and sea lines of communication, Africa is increasingly known as a land of vast stretches of under-governed spaces, burgeoning terrorist groups, world-class deposits of strategic minerals and petroleum, and the continent most affected by climate change. It is also known for high population growth rates and troubled governments struggling to maintain legitimacy. Many of the challenges originate with environmental change and a resource base eroded by high population growth rates, bad governmental policy, and environmental degradation. But, in resource rich Southern Africa, the regional country of Botswana is considered a success story. With fewer natural resources and a landlocked country, Botswana has historically been known as a champion of the environment and has been steadily making progress towards economic independence chiefly through sound fiscal decisions, diversifying its economy and attacking government corruption.