As the effects of climate change become apparent, and are expected to worsen in many parts of the world, the government of Botswana is taking necessary steps that will ensure these effects do not adversely impact development programmes.
Botswana’s Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, revealed that there are a number of programmes which have been put in place to mitigate effects of climate change. Khama highlighted that one such programme is the climate change dialogue where all stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, civil society and the private sector are educated in forums on ways they can aid in reducing the effects of climate change.
Other methods include the academic science and research based symposium debates on climate change which are held at intervals at the University of Botswana and some local research institutions. According to the minister, Botswana is engaged in a number of regional joint venture programmes that are implemented with external partners such as Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) with the objective of improving ongoing
government initiatives in capacity development and research for informed decisions making.
“Through SASSCAL programme, the Ministry has installed 15 automatic weather stations to improve quality of data and accuracy of forecasts. The Ministry has just completed the preparation of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) which outline what efforts Botswana intends to pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a way of addressing climate change over time,” said Khama.
A country analysis report which was released about Botswana highlighted that “as climate change ushers in more stress on the water sector, it is increasingly a concern that losses in rangeland productivity will result in food insecurity, especially in rural areas.”
The Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development sit in the national committee on climate change (NCCC). The NCCC coordinates climate change information, socio-economic and development indicators, local experiences as well as existing policies, plans and institutional frameworks on issues related to climate change.