Thursday, August 5, 2021

Leave no one behind climate change policy – VP

Vice President Slumber Tsogwane has advised the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT) to engage stakeholders ahead of the Climate Change policy formulation.

Such stakeholders, he said, should include the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Tchnology and Energy Security, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Ministry of Transport and communications, Health and Wellness and Land Management water and sanitation services.

Tsogwane was commenting on Minister, Philda Nani Kereng’s presentation of her Ministry’s budget to the committee of Supply in parliament recently.

“You should plan together with Department of Energy to use environment friendly energy, ensure there is sufficient water for all. With Ministry of Agriculture, you should be able to plan together for sustainable food production and security in the country. Climate change covers all sectors and there should be concerted effort by all stakeholders to tackle its impacts,” said Tsogwane.

Minister Kereng had told Parliament: “In an effort to counter the negative impacts of climate change, my Ministry has developed a National Climate Change Policy which is awaiting consideration by this house. A National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan has also been developed to operationalize the Policy. The Draft Climate Change Policy represents Botswana’s commitment to join the international community in stabilization of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and building of resilience of key economic sectors.”

Vice President’s comments are probably motivated by what Botswana as a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has pledged to undertake to reduce the country’s emission of Green House Gases into the atmosphere.

“The country will also continuously implement mitigation measures for the livestock sector to significantly reduce CH4 emissions mainly from enteric fermentation though these initiatives are not estimated in the 15 per cent intended reductions due to associated uncertainty in the livestock sector. The reductions are realized from the energy sources which is categorized as the stationary and mobile sources,” the document submitted in 2015 reads in part. Mitigation refers to reduction of emissions into the atmosphere. This is achieved through project implementation.

The document further highlights that Botswana is developing a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and Action Plan which will highlight all the priority areas including Climate Smart Agriculture which include techniques such as low to zero tillage, multi-cropping to increase mulching which reduce evapotranspiration and soil erosion. The development of the NAP calls for a broader stakeholder consultation so that the products of this process represent the views and aspirations of all the stakeholders and respond to their needs. The outcome of this process will be significant in guiding how the country responds to the development challenges across all sectors that are attributed to global warming and climate change.

While budget estimates in the document stands at approximately USD18.4 billion, the Minister’s budget as presented at the Committee of Supply was P848,020,610 under the Recurrent Budget and P339, 150, 000. A drop into an empty bucket.

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