RCB primary school programme
Rhino Conservation Botswana’s (RCB) mission is to secure a future for wild rhinos in Botswana through conservation leadership, education and empowerment of local communities.
We aim to help local children appreciate the value of nature and become the wildlife guardians of the future through our education programme. At five local primary schools, children aged between nine and 14 now enjoy weekly lessons about nature and conservation.
We’re even producing a special activity workbook to entertain and inspire these young people. In the future, we will run conservation projects near to these schools, and organise excursions to game reserves so our future environmental stewards can Botswana’s most majestic native wildlife for the first time.
RCB EDUCATION & VISITOR CENTRE
In 2019, RCB will commence construction of a new Rhino Education & Visitor Centre in Maun, the tourism gateway to the Okavango Delta and wildlife management centre of the region.
The multi-purpose Centre will serve as a central hub for promoting strategic collaboration among rhino stakeholders, and as a research base for visiting scientists and conservationists. It will be a visitor attraction that informs and inspires tourists about rhinos, and the heart of our work to educate and engage local communities and school groups in active conservation efforts.
The Centre will be the first of its kind in Botswana, and it will help focus attention, not only on rhinos, but on the importance of conserving the incomparable Okavango Delta ecosystem for future generations. In time we hope it will become our country’s leading centre of excellence in conservation and conservation education – for rhinos, for people and for Botswana.
Bringing together rhino stakeholders
RCB’s strategy for giving wild rhinos a brighter future in Botswana involves bringing together all stakeholders who have an interest and role to play in the species’ conservation, including governments and the military, tourists and tourism operators, park officials and game managers, conservationists and scientists, and local rural communities and the wildlife protectors of the future.
We hope the new Rhino Education & Visitor Centre will become the epicentre of Botswana’s rhino conservation efforts. It will house RCB’s headquarters and provide a base for all our partners in conservation, including the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, the Botswana Anti-Poaching Unit and the Botswana Defence Force, as well as private sector local businesses, tourism operators and other NGOs.
Visiting conservationists and scientists will always find a warm welcome here. It’s only by working together that we can truly make a difference.
engaging lOCAL COMMUNITIES
The Botswana Government is the custodian of all wildlife on behalf of its people. It is therefore critical that local communities understand the value of rhinos and importance of conservation if they are to support our mission.
The Rhino Education & Visitor Centre will welcome adults and children from the local area and across Botswana to learn about rhinoceros conservation and the preservation of the country’s natural resources and wildlife.
Here, we will inspire people to champion our cause. We will provide lessons in conservation for school groups, and create ‘Rhino Ambassadors’ within local communities, who will help to spread our conservation messages and encourage the reporting of wildlife crime.
The Centre will play a key role in empowering the youth of today to become the RCB rhino conservationists of the future.
Find out more about our work to engage communities.
More than 120,000 tourists visit the Okavango Delta each year, and Maun is the gateway through which most of them pass. The new Rhino Education & Visitor Centre will be situated opposite Maun’s planned new airport terminal. By providing a comfortable lounge for weary travellers (and coffee!), the Centre will provide an opportunity to inspire tourists about conservation.
The Centre will be a must-see attraction for anyone interested in Africa’s iconic wildlife and the rhinos’ reintroduction to the Okavango Delta. It will allow visitors to experience RCB’s vital conservation work, and hopefully reduce viewing pressure on Botswana’s wild rhinos, affording them the peace they need to breed.
The Centre will contribute to efforts to keep rhinos safe by educating tourists about the threat of poaching created by the illegal trade in wildlife products, such as rhino horn. It will also house a shop selling beautiful gifts, such as traditional arts and crafts, that support conservation and local communities.
BE PART OF THE FUTURE
Now is an exciting time to be part of the development of our plans for our new Rhino Education & Visitor Centre. To offer help, please get in touch using the contact form (below) or consider making a donation. Thank you.