University of Oulu

Jarkko Saarinen, Naomi Moswete, Julius R. Atlhopheng & Wame L. Hambira (2020) Changing socio-ecologies of Kalahari: Local perceptions towards environmental change and tourism in Kgalagadi, Botswana, Development Southern Africa, 37:5, 855-870, DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2020.1809997

Changing socio-ecologies of Kalahari : local perceptions towards environmental change and tourism in Kgalagadi, Botswana

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Author: Saarinen, Jarkko1,2; Moswete, Naomi3; Atlhopheng, Julius R.3;
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
3Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
4Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-02-28


Central parts of southern Africa are expected to face major environmental and economic changes in the near future, calling for proactive thinking on how local people could diversify their livelihoods. In Botswana, the tourism industry is considered as a major option for economic diversification and current tourism policies include a strong emphasis on tourism that participates in and benefits communities. The developmental impact of tourism depends on how the local communities perceive their livelihood options and the role of tourism. This paper analyses how community members in selected villages in Kalahari Desert perceive the current and estimated future impacts of climate change and how these impacts may influence their livelihoods in future and what role the tourism industry may play in that process. Based on the results, there are minimal local benefits and participation in tourism, which limits the potential of tourism to work for sustainable local development in practice.

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Series: Development Southern Africa
ISSN: 0376-835X
ISSN-E: 1470-3637
ISSN-L: 0376-835X
Volume: 37
Issue: 5
Pages: 855 - 870
DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2020.1809997
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2020 Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Development Southern Africa on 29 Aug 2020, available online: