Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The English drill Batswana scribes on climate change

Climate change, a vexing issue dismissed by Donald Trump, a President of the most powerful country on earth, as a hoax is becoming a global phenomenal concern from every corner of the planet.

The US President thinks scientists are crazy about the reality that has befallen earth that climate change is a reality that humanity has to wake up to.

In an attempt to showcase the United Kingdom’s commitment to being the global lead fighter against climate change, the British High Commissioner to Botswana last week trained a dozen of journalists at the Westminster House in Gaborone.

It emerged during the training that climate change needs immediate attention as its impacts are felt in many ways.

The training focused on the global climate crisis and its implications for the environment in Botswana, its people and its government and gave the participants a better understanding of global environmental challenges and their connection to the environment in Botswana.

Comparisons were made and solutions to some catastrophes discussed. A report by Tata Center for development, Chicago revealed shocking news that 1.5 million more Indian citizens were projected to die each year from extreme heat due to climate change by 2100. If green house gas emissions continue to grow at current rates it stated, India is projected to see a rapid increase in extremely hot days, increasing mortality risk.

“Average annual temperatures in India are projected to increase from about 24 degrees Celcius to 28 degrees by the end of the century under continued high emission scenario. There is likely to be eight times more extremely hot days, with temperatures above 35 degrees increasing from 5.1 per year in 2010 to 42.8 per year in 2100,”

With Botswana experiencing frequent heat waves where temperatures reach 40 degrees and above in some areas, participants pointed out the fact that the recent tree planting initiative by Forest Conservation Botswana (FCB) where a new plant is planted for a child born in Ramotswa, Molepolole and Palapye would go a long way in reducing carbon emissions.

The training’s facilitator, James Stewart highlighted that tourists can be informed of this so that having arrived by planes; they partake in tree planting for purpose of improving carbon emissions.

Participants showed positive response to the training when they started outlining environmental, socio-economic issues. For instance, the issue of human/wildlife conflicts was raised. The escalation of the elephant population which was worsened by drought that led to water scarcity made participants remember how other countries are trying to create opportunities within challenges.

In Kenya, it was observed, there is industry where elephant dung is turned into paper. This is a project worth trying so that residents would not see the elephant population only as nuisance but also a source of revenue of some sort.

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The Telegraph November 25

Digital edition of The Telegraph, November 25, 2020.