Common Bird Monitoring in Botswana: Involving Citizens in Biodiversity Monitoring
Common Bird Monitoring in Botswana: Involving Citizens in Biodiversity Monitoring
This project is about empowering local citizens, particularly members of rural communities, to make a contribution to biodiversity monitoring and thereby influence Botswana’s commitment towards meeting the obligations of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This will be achieved by building local capacity, through a series of training workshops, to enable ‘ordinary’ citizens to undertake bird counts along fixed transects, the results of which will be pooled to provide a Wild Bird Index (WBI). In time, this will provide a measure of the population trends of a representative suite of wild birds to act as a barometer of the general ‘health’ of the environment – this project seeks only to catalyse the process, which will be self-sustaining once participants have been motivated and trained. The methodology for producing the WBI is well developed and is being undertaken by a large volunteer network of ‘citizen scientists’ throughout Europe (it is described in detail elsewhere in this proposal); however, this is the first time it is being customized for use in Africa, and it is expected that other BirdLife partners in Southern Africa in particular will replicate the project so that data can be combined at a regional (and later, continental) level.

Birds are good bio-indicators and a WBI will give trends that are clear, easy to interpret and quantitative. This project will be vital to monitoring and maintaining Botswana’s biodiversity. This project meets the basic GEF criteria as it fits in the biodiversity focal area: the activities will promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. In addition, the project matches the SGP principles: it encourages and supports the participation of communities, local people, NGOs, CBOs (community-based organizations), and other stakeholders in all aspects of programme planning, design and implementation.
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Project Snapshot

BirdLife Botswana
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 78,639.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 20,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Planning gef grant
At the moment, a scale up project proposal is currently under development and will be submitted to the GEF/SGP strategic projects window (up to US$150,000). If this application is successful, we would then use the momentum and support provided by that grant to explore up-scaling to a medium-sized GEF grant
Policy Influence
Local communities: The data available is not the property of BirdLife Botswana alone, since the participating communities have access to all the data which they could then use for reporting to the DWNP (or Land Board, Technical Advisory Committees etc) on the status of birds and biodiversity in their concessions. The platform provided by the Environmental Information System should facilitate this process. National-level: The results from the count reports already influence several policies and their implementation, e.g. game birds quotas and the control of the Red-billed Quelea (see above). As the dataset grows, there should be more scope to influence even more policies, for instance on invasive alien species, whose expansion the monitoring networks should be able to record. The data could also be pooled at the regional level with those from neighbouring countries with Bird Population Monitoring schemes (e.g. South Africa), to provide information on birds and biodiversity at a regional scale – ultimately, this could even be done on a continental scale or globally, which would influence for instance policy decisions on bird migratory routes and pathways. Presently, the reports produced out of the four BPM counts provide synthesized information, in a format that can be used by decision-makers to influence politicians to find suitable biodiversity management solutions
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Grantee Contact

Mr Pete Hancock
Phone: +267 6865618


P O Box 26691, Game City
Gaborone , SADC ,


SGP Country office contact

Ms. Abigail Engleton
+267 363-3767
Mr Baboloki Autlwetse


UN Building, Government Enclave Corner Khama Crescent & President Drive P O Box 54
Gaborone, SADC