Sunday, October 17, 2021

Are women better guardians of natural resources?

Whilst women in Saudi Arabia have been given green light to obtain driving licenses, those in Botswana have been argued to take drivers seats when it comes to obtaining economical benefits from natural resources.

In actual fact, an Environmental Economics and Lecturer at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN), Dr Keneilwe Kgosikoma believes that women in Botswana have already tajen a leading role in terms of utilization of natural resources.

“Research shows that in many developing countries it is mostly women who harvest natural resources for various uses including income generation. However it is lacking in capacitating the women to go all out and invest in the cultivation and commercialization of the natural resources identified to have high value addition,” said Dr Kgosikoma.

She said capacity building will include giving them different skills for cultivation, processing and marketing, but most importantly on sustainability practices throughout their production process. And these sustainability practices should be valued and included in computing the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).   

Evidence as unveiled by negotiators at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) indicates that; “Climate change has a greater impact on those sections of the population, in all countries, that are most reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods and/or who have the least capacity to respond to natural hazards, such as droughts, landslides, floods and hurricanes. Women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty, and the majority of the world’s poor are women.”

They thus argue that Women’s unequal participation in decision-making processes and labor markets compound inequalities, and often prevent women from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making and implementation.

Secretary of Dibapalwa Nageng Trust, Lemogang Ngakaemang also says that women should take a leading role in natural resources enterprises, and they should also be given opportunity to voice their concerns in decision making.

“Women are better tenders of the environment than men”, Ngakaemang remarked.

As the name indicates, Dibapalwanageng trust’s products include Morula and other wild fruits. From Morula fruit the Trust extracts oil which is mixed with other products to make lotions, many of which are sold to hotels and lodges. There also is morula jam and sweets; which one female entrepreneur is exporting to United States through Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative.

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