Saturday, March 6, 2021

Botswana unprepared for climate change realities ÔÇô Lesolle

The fact that Botswana is processing policy documents on Climate change is indicative of the fact that preparations are afoot for the country to tackle the phenomenon.

This came to light during an interview with Botswana’s Negotiator in Conference of Parties at the United Nations Framework Conferences on Climate Change (UNFCCC), David Lesolle.

Also an Environmental Sciences Lecturer at the University of Botswana, Lesolle however bemoaned the fact that Botswana seems not to be proactive in preparation for catastrophes like floods and frequent droughts ÔÇô known signs of climate change.

These often lead to poverty, one of the common factors of climate change on developing countries-especially in rural areas where citizenry depends entirely on natural resources.

“We should sensitize our rural dwellers of the difficult times ahead due to this phenomenon. They are especially going to be fatally affected due to their dependency on natural resources, some of which are sensitive to climate change,” he explained.

He gave as example the harvesters of mophane worm (or phane) as well as thatching grass. People who utilize these resources, he said should be empowered to ensure they form groups or organizations through which they can monitor sustainable utilization of these.

Lesolle once came up with a model which would help the government and Batswana at large to effectively adapt to climate change.
Some years have passed without any positive signs about his idea. When quizzed on what the response so far is on the mechanism, Lesolle responded, “A suggestion is a suggestion. What can one do if hopeful participants ask you where the funding for such instrument will come from?”

His adaptation mechanism read thus: first there would be the thinkers whose responsibility would be to strategize projects (green projects like renewable energy) as determined by the environment where they would be implemented.

Next there would be consultations with communities to ensure they own developments. Then there would be implementers or implementation groups who would be working with monitors. Evaluators of the projects would be next. 

In a nutshell possible projects needed to mitigate or adapt to climate change would include research, reforestation and carbon projects, to mention but a few.

Planning, research, consultation and mobilization, implementation, and finally evaluation would be the stages of this adaptation measure.

He estimated the mechanism to take two years to take-off.

He said the government’s policies regarding environment-related issues were fine. This, he said was evidenced by the provisions of the Environment Impact Assessment(EIA) legislation which dictated that its (EIA) report should be produced before any project was implemented.

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