The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has joined hands with the Department of Forestry and Range Resources in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism to promote sustainable natural resource management in Botswana.
According to an agreement signed between JICA and the ministry in Gaborone, JICA will finance the project to the tune of USD3.5 (about P28 million) which will cover consultancy work, expert training and procurement of equipment.
The agreement was signed by Nobuhiro Kumagai from JICA representing the Japanese government while Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Environment, Edmont Moabi, signed on behalf of the Botswana government.
In an interview, the Project Formulation Advisor at JICA, Tomoko Miyata, said since this is a cooperation project, the government of Botswana will be expected to provide office space and personnel to help in the implementation of the project.
She said the Botswana government, through the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism sent a request to the Japanese government in 2010 for assistance in sustainable natural resource management. The application was considered and approved by the Japanese government which then dispatched a survey team to Botswana in April and July to discuss components of the project.
The project will mainly focus on national forestry inventory and monitoring. Titled ‘The project for enhancing national forest monitoring system for the promotion of sustainable natural resource management”, the project was motivated by the realisation that the forests in Botswana are important natural resources not only for the habitat of rare species but also for local economies to obtain various materials and products such as fuel wood, mopane worm and palm.
The Japanese government is expected to send five experts to Botswana and thereafter some people from the Forestry department in the ministry will be sent to Japan for further training.
Miyata emphasised that JICA’s assistance focuses mainly on capacity building and as such whenever they offer some donor assistance, they expect the recipient countries to be the main actors in an effort to instil some sense of ownership to the projects in which the Japanese government extends assistance on.
The expected goals to be attained from this project is that Sustainable Forest Management in the country is promoted by sharing and utilising information obtained through national forest monitoring among relevant stakeholders including government agencies and local communities.