Thursday, February 25, 2021

Botswana faces poverty from climate change

Batswana face a high risk of poverty and hunger resulting from climate change, a study by World Bank and Relief web has revealed.

According to the report published this week, “Botswana is considered highly vulnerable to climate variability and change due to its high dependence on rain-fed agriculture and natural resources, high levels of poverty – particularly in rural areas, and a low adaptive capacity to deal with these expected changes. Primary challenges are centered around water resource availability, changing precipitation patterns and increasing population demands. Climatic and socio-economic environments in semi-arid areas in Botswana make communities vulnerable to food insecurity and unstable livelihoods as well as unsustainable agroecological systems, crop failure and unproductive rangelands.”

The ND-GAIN Index ranks 181 countries using a score which calculates a country’s vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges as well as their readiness to improve resilience. This Index aims to help businesses and the public sector better identify vulnerability and readiness in order to better prioritize investment for more efficient responses to global challenges. Due to a combination of political, geographic, and social factors, Botswana is recognized as vulnerable to climate change impacts, ranked 94 out of 181 countries in the 2019 ND-GAIN Index. The more vulnerable a country is the lower their score, while the more ready a country is to improve its resilience the higher it will be. Norway has the highest score and is ranked 1st.

Botswana submitted its Nationally-Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC in 2016, in support of the country’s efforts to realize its development goals and increase its resilience to climate change, described in the Botswana Climate Change Response Policy. The country published its Third National Communication to the UNFCCC in 2019.

The World Bank and Relief Web are however confident that “Botswana remains committed to developing a long term, low carbon development strategy and supporting the necessary mitigation and adaptation activities in order to reduce its vulnerability to climate change, and protecting the livelihoods of its population. Key focus is on the sustainability of the environment, water resources, sustainable land management, agriculture, and health sectors.”

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Read this week's paper