Between 2001 and 2012 Botswana lost more than 3,079 hectares of forests, including elephants, firewood, and agricultural activities, according to a report from consultants to identify forested areas in central communities of northern and northwestern Botswana. The paper, commissioned by the conservation Agency of Botswana forests, also indexes the overexploitation of the steppes, the livestock overgrazing, drought, mining, and infrastructure development.
The report emphasizes that the highest losses occurred in 2001, 2004, and 2005, periods when they exceeded 400 hectares annually.
The report highlights that in Ngamiland (northwestern Botswana), areas affected by seasonal bush fires can sometimes comprise 10 to 20% of the entire district. This, the report notes, threatens biodiversity and livelihoods, not to mention timber reserves, the products of the steppe and fauna.
The document also emphasizes that climate change is likely to increase pressure on forest resources and exacerbate threats posed by fires, elephants, firewood, use of steppe products, and the expansion of arable land for dry crops.