The Minister for Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT), Kitso Mokaila, appealed to the people of Maun, to make commitments to be responsible and to be as friendly as possible to the delta and the environment in general. He said this at the Commemoration of World Wetlands Day held recently.
Mokaila said that commemorating this day is a gesture of raising public awareness on the importance of wetlands as habitats and life support systems, the need for their sustainable management as well as to publicize the objective of the Ramsar Convention.
He said people have the ingenuity to either build or destroy any natural phenomenon that exists on this planet, adding that it is high time that Batswana stopped their ‘that does not concern me’ mentality.
“If we don’t care about this Delta we might end up as losers. Batswana should know that everything that happens in Botswana concerns all of us,” he said.
Mokaila said it is very important to look back time and again and find out if we are still on the right track. He said the society and the nation as a whole have to be taught about the importance of the Delta, saying it can improve lives of all as an economy.
“Batswana have instituted well-thought out strategies, policies and legislative frameworks to manage wetlands ecosystems, pursuant to this objective of sustainable development.”
Mokaila said that the government of Botswana had instituted a number of policies that address natural resources conservation and adopted a Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) policy in order to promote sustainable management of biological diversity within the country.
“A draft national policy and strategy on wetlands management is also under consideration,” he said.
Mokaila further disclosed that his Ministry is drafting an overarching Environmental Management Legislation aimed at, among others, the harmonization of all environmental related legislation in the country. He said these policies and legislative initiatives enhance environmental considerations in the development processes and are meant to promote sustainable development. By 2016, he said, they would like Batswana to be an environment conscious and friendly nation.
The Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, Dr Anada Tiega, appealed to Batswana to work together in order to care for the Wetlands. He said the need for proper management is very important.