World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Botswana: Mine Consultation Exercise Flawed

Botswana: Mine 'Consultation' Exercise Fatally Flawed

Representatives from the consultancy firm Marsh Environmental Services today begin a whirlwind twelve-day consultation programme in and around the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), in Botswana. The move is part of plans to develop a $2.2 billion diamond mine within the reserve.

In what has since been ruled an unlawful and unconstitutional act, in 2002 the Botswana government removed more than 600 Bushmen from the CKGR without their consent. These evictions followed the previous removal of hundreds of Bushmen from the reserve in 1997. Although a small number have been able to return, the majority languish in resettlement camps outside the reserve. It is in these camps that most of the Bushmen will be 'consulted' about the mine.

The proposed mine would be built near Gope, a Bushman settlement in the reserve. If it goes ahead, it will irrevocably alter both the land and the lives of the Bushmen. Survival International does not believe that the Bushmen are in a position to give their free, prior, and informed consent to the construction of a mine in their homeland whilst they continue to be unable to access it.

The Bushmen won the right to return to their homes in the reserve in 2006, but the Botswana government has effectively prevented them from doing so by refusing to allow them to hunt in the reserve, or to reopen their old water borehole. The majority cannot even enter the reserve without first applying for a permit.

Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'It is a well recognised principle of international law that development on indigenous peoples' land should not proceed without the free and informed consent of the indigenous communities living there. But how can the Bushmen give their consent freely when most of them cannot even live there, and those who have managed to return cannot get food or water?'

These sentiments are echoed by First People of the Kalahari (FPK), the grassroots Bushman organisation. In addition to demanding that consultations occur only after the Bushmen have been able to return to their homes in the reserve, FPK are pushing for an independent mining expert to be made available to the Bushmen, to give them impartial advice on the impact the mine would have.


There are many ways you can help tribal peoples defend their rights. Explore some ideas at

We help tribal peoples defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures.

Survival International
6 Charterhouse Buildings
London EC1M 7ET

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>