Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Botswana acts to mitigate climate thaw

Botswana has, through the Department of Meteorological Services (DMS), promised to maintain the target of 15 per cent reduction of emission of Green House Gases (GHG) into the atmosphere.

In 2015 countries outlined what climate actions they intended to take under the new international agreement, known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

These determine whether the world achieves the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement: to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius, to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and to achieve net zero emissions in the second half of this century. Botswana submitted her NDC in October 2015

Botswana’s NDC target is 15 per cent absolute reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 taking 2010 as the base year.

“Mitigation actions in the NDCs are targeting the Energy, Transport and waste sectors the maintenance of the 15 percent entails, developing a more robust tracking tool for the implementation of the updated NDCs to enhance national capacity for monitoring, reviewing finance needs and innovative financing options for the NDC- Assess costs and investment opportunities,” explained Principal Meteorologist, Dorcas Masisi.

She said Botswana has to review, align, and update policies and measures of Economic Impact of Climate Change on Botswana’s GDP- demonstrate the effects of climate change on Botswana’s economy as well as incorporate new sectors/ greenhouse gases.

She further explained that the Paris Agreement documents also requests those Parties whose NDCs contains a time frame up to 2030 to communicate or update by 2020 these contributions and to do so every five years thereafter. COVID-19, she said delayed the submission of Botswana’s NDCs and therefore it will be in 2021.

September 2019 United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced to scale up support needed for NDC enhancement. The climate promise is UNDP’s commitment to support at least 100 countries enhance their NDCs by 2020 and Botswana is one of the countries which received support to update NDC.

The Economic Impact of Climate Change on Botswana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) demonstrate the effects of climate change on Botswana’s economy, but consultants are drafting the report.

When presenting her paper on sustainable environment sectoral chapter during the mid-term review of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT), Philda Nani Kereng highlighted that climate change has exacerbated Botswana’s vulnerability to drought, which negatively affects food security, nutrition, human health and the national economy.

“In the past government took decisions in dealing with issues of drought, which often had significant financial implications. Government has now, through the Rural Development Council, resolved to develop a national Drought Management Strategy to address all the key areas impacted by drought in the short, medium and long term,” said Minister Kereng.

In order to support the Drought Management Strategy and inform planning, Minister said the weather forecast program is being revamped and digitalized. The forecast will be disaggregated and localized geographically. The farmers will now be able to receive weather forecast specific to their fields on areas and be able to plan better.

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