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African Environmental Information Network (AEIN)

AEIN is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which aims at building capacities of African countries to harness and enhance access to information and knowledge that support the management of Africa's environmental Resources as assets for sustainable development.

More details at the UNEP site

The benefits of AEIN amongst others are:

  • Development of a National Environmental Information System status reports and AEIN implementation strategies using UNEP guidelines.
  • Environment Information Management tools.
  • Set of environmental indicators.
  • Detailed report of lessons learnt both positive and negative.
  • Development of a set of prototype products like national and sub-regional environment outlook reports, Africa Environment Outlook, AEO report (regional), etc.

Botswana has expressed interest to participate in the project by signing an agreement with UNEP. Implementation of AEIN activities started in May 2007 with a startup workshop which gathered key environmental information producers and users.

The purpose of the workshop was amongst others to introduce the AEIN project to stakeholders, and further identify possible synergies between AEIN and other environmental Information initiatives.

Proceedings of the workshop can be obtained at:

The National Focal Point
Department of Environmental Affairs
Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism
P/Bag 0068, Gaborone Botswana

Contact: Dr Micheal Flyman Tel: +267 3902050, Fax: +267 3902051, Email: mflyman@gov.bw

 

Agenda 21

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action that was produced at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, commonly known as the Earth Summit or Rio Summit. The plan is to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations, system, national governments and major groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment. Progress on implementation of Agenda 21 is monitored by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).

Review of the Earth Summit was done in 1997 and in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

The plan has now become a working document of many countries.

For more information contact: The Director, Department of Environmental Affairs, Gaborone, Botswana : Tel: +267 3902050, Fax: +267 3902051/3914687 Email: www.mewt.gov.bw

 

National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

Background

Biological diversity is essential for sustainable human development, because the variability of living organisms determine to an important extent the opportunities available to people for improving their lives. Botswana still possesses an impressive diversity and abundance of wild fauna and flora. The Government of Botswana has demonstrated considerable commitment to maintaining the country's rich heritage, amongst others by setting over 35% of the country as National Parks, Game Reserves, Forest Reserves and Wildlife Management Areas. Despite all the efforts, it is evident that biological resources continue to be eroded.

To protect global and national biological diversity Botswana ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 1995.

As partial fulfillment to the obligation Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Botswana has produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan which defines the status of biological resources, identify pressures on them and propose options and priority actions for their conservation and sustainable utilization for the benefit of all Batswana and others. The production of the NBSAP is a result of an exercise that began in 2002 which involved the stock taking exercise community consultations and workshops, therefore the BSAP defines the status of biodiversity in the country, articulate the gaps and treats facing biodiversity, species under treats and outline steps that can be taken to alleviate treats.

Botswana has also prepared and submitted to the Conference of the Parties 3 National Reports in 1998, 2001 and 2005 and the 4th national report is due in 2007. The reports provides detailed information on the status and trends in biodiversity conservation in Botswana as well as progress in the implementation of the Convention.

The BSAP is based on 11 strategic objectives designed to fulfill the vision. Each of these objectives outline a number of activities to be done by different stakeholders that will help us achieve the objectives and subsequently the vision. The objectives are:

  • Better understanding of biodiversity and ecological processes
  • Long-term conservation and management of Botswana's biological diversity and genetic resources
  • Efficient and sustainable utilization of all components of biodiversity in Botswana through appropriate land and resource use practices and management
  • An institutional environment, including human capacity, conducive to effective biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and management.
  • Coping with environmental change and threats to biodiversity
  • Appropriate valuation/appreciation of biological diversity and raised public awareness on the role of biodiversity in sustainable development and public participation in biodiversity related activities and decision making
  • Fair access to biological resources and equitable sharing of benefits arising  from the use of biological resources
  • Safe industrial and technological development and other services based on national biodiversity resources for future prosperity
  • Improved availability and access to biodiversity data and information, and promotion of exchange of information
  • Recognition of Botswana's and the Southern African Region's roles with regards to Biodiversity
  • Implementation of this Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

The various stakeholders were assigned the activities as outlined in the action plan at a workshop held on the 28th of June 2006.

Botswana is also participating in the Southern Africa Biodiversity Support Project.

For more information contact: The Director, Department of Environmental Affairs, Gaborone, Botswana, Tel: +267 3902050, Fax: +267 3902051/3914687, Email: www.mewt.gov.bw 

 

 

 

Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM)

The Botswana Government through the NCS Agency, in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Environment in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme is currently promoting sustainable use of natural resources in order to alleviate poverty in rural areas and hence in the whole country.

The CBNRM pilot project started in May 1998 and is expected to end in December 2002. Even though the programme is scheduled to end, it is planned for and budgeted to continue in National Development Plan 9.

The objectives of the CBNRM programme are as follows:

  • To diversify rural economies through the sustainable utilization of natural resources.
  • To assist rural communities in the development of viable income generating jobs by providing guidance to good project implementation practices.
  • To alleviate poverty especially in rural female headed households.
  • To build appropriate partnership between all relevant stakeholders in sustainable utilization and conservation of natural resources.  

The project major beneficiary are community based organisations, who aim at promoting sustainable utilisation of natural resources.

The programme has funded several community projects that are aimed at empowering communities through community based natural resources management projects.

For more information contact: The Executive Secretary, National Conservation Strategy Coordinating Agency, Gaborone, Botswana, Tel: +267 3902050, Fax: +267 3902051/3914687. Contact Dollina Malepa  at dmalepa@gov.bw 

 

Environmental Impact Assessment Act (EIA)

The EIA Act was enacted by Parliament in May 2005.

The EIA specifies the general framework to be implemented through Statutory Orders and guidelines from the Minister responsible for the Environment as well as identify the proper implementing agencies and ensure that adequate administrative procedures are in place.

EIA seeks to provide the decision makers with an indication of the likely consequences of their developmental activities. Decision makers should consider environmental impact as one of the issues to be addressed in decision making in order to balance the competing demands of development and environmental protection and to provide for environmentally sound policies, programmes and projects. Furthermore, environmental impact assessment allows government to consult the interested public on particular planned policies, programmes or projects.

The Act provides for the establishment and strengthening of the environmental impact assessment in the decision making process to ensure that the environmental implications of policies, programmes or development projects, are evaluated before approval.

EIA applies to policies, programmes, projects or activities that are likely to have a significant effect on the environment. Its scope goes beyond the physical impact to include other developmental effects such as economic, social, human health, aesthetic, cultural and institutional.

The following are the key elements of the EIA:

  • A process commonly referred to as screening whereby lists of projects, programmes, policies or activities subject to an assessment or lists of environmental sensitive areas are drawn up; the threshold is determined or criteria set up to guide determinations of the significant effects on the environment;
  • A process known as scoping whereby the experts and interested parties such as decision makers or local people are consulted to canvass their views on the proposed development in order to determine the important issues to be addressed in the assessment;
  • The impact assessment which includes evaluation of cumulative, long term, indirect and trans-boundary environmental impact of a project, programme or policy, possible alternative actions and measures to minimise the potential adverse effects;
  • Periodic reviews to measure compliance with the conditions of an authorisation and assessment of the adequacy of prescribed mitigation measures; and
  • Environmental impact assessment preparation lies with the proponent of the project, programme, policy or activity.

The Act encompasses these key issues mentioned above and other related matters.

By this legislation, the Government has initiated a reform process that must be guidedby institutional, planning and administrative arrangements to ensure that the implementation of EIAs is institutionalised as a formal government policy.

For more information contact: The Director, Department of Environmental Affairs, Gaborone, Botswana, Tel: +267 3902050, Fax: +267 3902051/3914687 Email: envirobotswana@gov.bw; David Aniku at daniku@gov.bw; Mokgadi Monamati at mmonamati@gov.bw Tsalano Kedikilwe at tkedikilwe@gov.bw 

 

Wetland Policy and Strategy

The NCS institutions coordinated the formulation of a draft Wetlands policy and Strategy for Botswana. The need for the conservation of wetlands resources was identified in 1994, and was followed by in-depth consultations across different Government Departments, Local Authorities, Local Communities and Non Governmental Organisations. The process to develop the draft Policy and Strategy started with the compilation of a National Wetlands Inventory and an Issues Paper, which outlined the major issues of wetlands in Botswana.

These activities spanned the period 1997-2001. The elements of the draft Policy and Strategy on Wetlands emerged from the outcomes of these initial phases. The main goal of the draft Policy and Strategy is "to promote the conservation of Botswana's wetlands in order to sustain their ecological and socio-economic functions as well as providing benefits for the present and future well being of the people."

The draft Policy further recognises the following:

  • The irreplaceable ecological and socio economic values of wetlands
  • Botswana's internationally important and unique wetlands
  • Ongoing degradation of wetlands resources
  • Our responsibility for stopping wetlands loss and
  • The need to maintain wetlands through sustainable use, improved management and full public support.

The draft Wetlands Policy and Strategy document is currently undergoing consultation and should be approved during NDP 9.

For further information please contact The Director, Department of Environmental Affairs, Tel: +267 3902050, Fax: +267 3902051/3914687, Email: www.mewt.gov.bw

 

GOB/UNDP ENVIRONMENT SUPPORT PROGRAMME (2005-08)

The Environment Support Programme (BOT/03/ 002) is a collaborative activity between the Government of Botswana and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It spans across various departments in the Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) and seeks to involve civil society as well as the private sector.

The aim of the Programme is to enhance the effective protection and management of Botswana's environment and natural resources. The Programme focuses on the following components:

  • Environmental governance: Supporting MEWT departments and other organisations in implementing their mandates on environmental protection and management;
  • Natural resource management: Strengthening management systems for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources;
  • Environmental information: Establishing a national environmental information management system for improved environmental reporting and decision-making.

A number of activities will be carried out which will result in the following outputs:

  • Enhanced capacity for environmental protection and management through training and similar initiatives
  • Mandates, roles and responsibilities for environmental protection and management clearly defined
  • Enhanced public awareness of environmental issues and sensitivity to environmental values and vulnerability
  • Effective EIA Process to prevent new impacts
  • Financial mechanism for environmental protection and management
  • Capacity for landscape scale / ecosystem management planning enhanced
  • Protected Species Management Strategy developed and implementation facilitated
  • Best practices identified for the management of natural resources by communities (CBNRM)
  • Fully operational national environmental information system
  • Improved reporting on the status of the Botswana environment
  • The Botswana Atlas of Natural Resources

For 2006 the Environment Support Programme aims to deliver, amongst others, an institutional structure report for the Departments of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) and Waste Management and Pollution Control (DWMPC) and a design study report of the establishment of an Environmental Fund, whilst various EIA public awareness seminars have already been supported.

The ESP will furthermore work towards the preparation of an implementation strategy for Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), the drafting of a strategy for protected species management (together with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks), and the preparation of CBNRM guidelines. A major output of the ESP will be a national Environmental Information System which will comprise information on the basis of environmental indicators which will track environmental performance and will inform environmental decision-making. Detailed work on indicators and system design is underway.

The Programme Implementation Unit, through which the programme will deliver its outputs, is headed by a Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) and comprises three (3) Component Managers, an Administrator / Finance Officer and an Administrative Assistant / Driver. The team is based at the Department of Environmental Affairs.

 
 
 
 
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