Call to Action: The Okavango Delta
Thursday, October 14, 2021
October 2021
A more in depth exploration of key sustainability topics
Call to Action: The Okavango Delta

Since our founding, Ethic has been passionate about shining a light on pressing world issues and galvanizing our community behind meaningful efforts to drive change. That’s why we’re driven to amplify a powerful call to action concerning a controversial plan to drill for oil upstream of an ecologically important region of Botswana: the Okavango Delta. 

Why should we care? 

The Okavango Delta is an exceptionally biodiverse habitat that’s home to a large population of elephants and close to 2,000 other wildlife species, which depend on this delicate ecosystem for survival. Not only does the proposed drilling project stand to displace critically endangered wildlife populations, but it has attracted scrutiny—including from local communities, environmental groups, lawmakers and the media—for other reasons, too. 

It’s possible that the project will rely on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) techniques that could threaten already-scarce water resources in the area. In addition to the ecological risks associated with fossil fuel exploration near vital water sources, the very nature of the project undermines ongoing efforts to combat climate change. After all, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has made clear that, in order to reach critical net-zero emissions goals by 2050, all new oil and gas exploration should cease by the end of 2021.

What can we do? 

Ethic’s capabilities already include custom data research on this and similar environmental issues, and clients have the option to screen their Ethic portfolios for publicly traded companies with direct exposure to the controversial project. Additionally, we encourage any other asset managers that are seeking to engage in similar efforts to reach out to us using the contact details below.

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Sources and footnotes

Travis Korte is the associate director of Sustainability Research & Data at Ethic. Previously, Travis organized civic-minded technologists at Hack for LA and advised a wide range of clients on data science, data policy, and quantitative methods. You can follow him on Twitter at @traviskorte.