Following the Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organizations (BOCONGO)’s effort to trigger input and becoming an active partner in decision making in both Botswana and internationally, the government was called on to divert from being purely traditional environmental focused, but embrace a sustainable developmental focus.
This was called on by the Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Heritage Foundation of Botswana, Mr James Ewane, during the budget review of the 2009/2010 at Tati River Lodge in Francistown on last week. The meeting was organized by BOCONGO and Friedrich Elbert Foundation.
Ewane pointed out that the concept of sustainable development, in its current usage, has been around for two decades. He said that it was very crucial as it came into implementation at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He further added that it was now a watchword use for developments of countries in the whole world.
He defined sustainable growth as a development that seeks to satisfy needs of current generations without jeopardizing their future needs, but using the same resources.
“Sustainable development underlines that natural resources can be depleted if they are not used wisely. It also hinges on the adage that we did not inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrowed it from our children,” said Ewane.
He also pointed out that sustainable development at the global level was getting stronger and stronger by the day. He mentioned that the current President of the United States Of America, Barack Obama, was willing to commit impressive sums to the development of eco-friendly energy (and use it to create jobs).
Ewane highlighted that the US President was putting enormous pressure on manufacturing industries to move on to the production of fuel efficient vehicles.
“This is sustainable health because it guarantees the survival of the Earth,” he said.
He said that government should take note that sustainable development calls for a drastic change in the way they perceived and did things. He brought to the meeting’s attention that they may be many things that they are not aware of that may contribute to the attainment of sustainable development and urged the government to be aware of and to deliberately embark on activities that would contribute to sustainable development.
Regarding the 2009/2010 budget speech, Ewane commended the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Baledzi Gaolathe, for his recognition and consideration of environmental management and human development.