Re:wild is standing with the people of Namibia and Botswana fighting the decision to allow oil exploration in the Okavango. Sign the open letter today.

We need more biodiversity, not extractives.

We don’t need more oil because we have enough proven reserves to supply demand as the world transitions to a more sustainable low-carbon economy. 

Check out the latest developments here

Yet, Canadian oil company ReconAfrica has its sights set on the Okavango River Basin—including Namibia’s Kavango regions and Botswana’s Okavango Delta—an ecosystem that supports the livelihood of tens of thousands of people and serves as home to endangered wildlife, from lions and giraffes to African Wild Dogs and the world’s largest remaining population of Endangered Savanna Elephants. The Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Key Biodiversity Area, is also a lifeline to a desert delta and the main source of water for nearly one million people, relying on rivers originating in Angola, flowing through Namibia and emptying into northern Botswana.


Save the Okavango

We, the undersigned, are part of a growing community that defines progress not as the destruction of our planet to benefit a few, but as the protection of our irreplaceable natural resources to the benefit of all.

We stand in solidarity with the people of the Okavango River Basin in demanding a full moratorium on all oil and gas exploration and development in the Okavango River Basin, which includes the Kavango region of Namibia and is home to the famed Okavango Delta in Botswana.

Local communities in Namibia’s Kavango East and West regions deserve an independent and impartial public commission to examine oil and gas exploration in a way that is transparent, involves extensive consultation with them, and makes clear how this industry would affect their lives, rights, water, food security, and the natural environments of which they are custodians.

We further encourage the governments of Namibia and Botswana to consider sustainable, alternative energy so that they can meet their global climate and biodiversity commitments, while building a green economy that will benefit both countries’ people and wildlife in the long-term.

By signing this letter, we also pledge to use our collective voice to expose irresponsible extractive industry projects that pose a threat to ecosystems and the people who depend on them across the region by bringing sustained local, regional and international attention to them.

The choice is simple–either we preserve the wild and its benefits to humanity, or permanently destroy it through exploitation. We have made our choice by standing with local communities in embracing the former, protecting the irreplaceable Okavango River Basin for generations to come. 


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Prince Harry

The Duke of Sussex

Reinhold Mangundu

Namibian environmental activist

Forest Whitaker

Academy Award winning actor and activist

Nemonte Nenquimo

Waorani Leader, Ceibo Alliance & Amazon Frontlines

Dr. Wes Sechrest


Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor and environmentalist

Djimon Hounsou

Actor and activist 

Michael Chase

Elephants Without Borders, Botswana

Max Muyemburuko

KEW Regional Conservancy and Community Forestry Association

Veruschka Dumeni

Namibian climate and environmental activist

Rinaani Musutua

Economic and Social Justice Trust, Namibia 

Dr. Chris Brown

Namibia Chamber of Environment (Representing 70 NGOs in Namibia)

Joram Useb

Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee

Anita Lekgowa

Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee

Nadia April

Women’s Leadership Centre

Mary Rice

Environmental Investigation Agency

Kweku Mandela

Film producer

Mike Holding

Director, cinematographer, Afriscreen

Dereck Joubert

CEO Great Plains, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence

Frans Lanting

Author and photographer “Okavango: Africa’s Last Eden”

Christine Eckstrom

Editor “Okavango: Africa’s Last Eden”

Colin Bell

Director, Natural Selection Travel

Global Citizen

Eriel Deranger

Indigenous Climate Action

Lourence S. Lirumba

Muduva Nyangana Conservancy

Thomas H. Muronga

Kapinga kaMwalye Conservancy

Eveline N. Kauma

Joseph Mbambangandu Conservancy

Johanes M. Sivava

Mbeyo Community Forest

Gervatius Mukuve

Ambrosius Haingura Community Forest

Kleopas Shaningwa

Katope Community Forest

Raymond Kafene

Maurusi Nekaro Conservancy

Stephanes Kudumo

Ambrosius Haingura Conservancy

Ellen DeGeneres

Entertainer and someone who cares


Explore the Okavango

Meet the iconic species and characteristics of this region–and the people who rely on it.

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26,099 Susan Schmidt Schmidt Family Farms Mar 18, 2023
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Image Credits
Cover Photo: Frans Lanting
Carousel: The Women’s Leadership Centre, Windhoek; Cory Richards

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