Botswana started the Botswana National Ecosystem Assessment (BW-NEA) initiative on Wednesday in Gaborone, aiming at establishing national natural resource baselines.
The project brings together science (from university) with local and traditional knowledge (from local people) to provide comprehensive information to help decision-making.
Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) completed community dialogues in the Tswapong area of Botswana’s Central District, with key discussions highlighting the importance of environmental cleanliness and focusing on traditional and local community conservation practices, as well as sustainable land and resource management.
“Currently the project is still at scoping stage and we are here with the United Nations Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP – WCMC) from Cambridge, United Kingdom and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) who are providing technical support to BUAN who are the implementing agency as appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism,” said Kaisara Sejoe, councilor and chair of the finance and project execution committee, during the opening address.
Sejoe said that policies like Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM), the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), and the Access and Benefit Sharing of Biological Resources Act of 2022 demonstrate the government’s overall objective of natural resource conservation and livelihood upliftment.
The project, according to Ketlhatlogile Mosepele, vice chancellor of BUAN, is consistent with the principles of Pillar 3 of Botswana’s Vision 2036.
The primary goal of this pillar is to ensure that by 2036, sustainable and optimal use of our natural resources will have transformed Botswana’s economy and improved the livelihoods of our people, said Mosepele.