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INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BOTSWANA


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INTEGRATED DECISION-MAKING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

In Botswana, the conservation mandate is executed through an Advisory National Conservation Strategy (NCS) Board and its Coordinating Agency, which are responsible for integrating the work of the sectoral ministries and interest groups in Botswana into national development planning. The institutional linkages between the NCS Board and its Coordinating Agency on the one hand, and the sectoral ministries on the other, is implemented through a system of liaison to ensure that the sectoral ministries, departments, local authorities, parastatals, and other actors involved, show due regard, in the course of their work for the conservation and enhancement of the environment in the interest of achieving sustainable development.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Achievement of sustainable development requires a comprehensive evaluation of the environmental, economic, social and other implications before major new development policies, programmes, and projects are undertaken. Consistent with this, Botswana has approved a National Conservation Strategy (NCS) and the National Policy on Natural Resource Conservation and Development. The mandate of the NCS fosters the national development planning principles, and it stresses the role of natural resources in providing for present generations as well as for posterity. Sustainable development in particular is seen as a strategic concept that links the population, the economy and natural resources, in the context of socio-economic development for the long term.

The strategy calls for a comprehensive evaluation of all the economic, social, and environmental implications of policies, programmes, and projects before these are undertaken, to foster sustainable development. It requires that all the sectoral ministries, departments, local authorities, parastatals, and other actors involved take environment and conservation into account to ensure compliance with the NCS. The primary objective of the policy is "increasing the effectiveness with which natural resources are used and managed, so that beneficial interactions are optimized and harmful environmental side effects are minimized."

The strategy requires new development projects, public and private, to be accompanied by professionally prepared and approved Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). The purpose of the assessments is to facilitate decisions on public and private development initiatives with the benefit of a full understanding of the environmental, economic, and social costs incurred both in the short and the long term. This ensures a system wide perspective, a long term view which underscores prevention, and a package of ecological practices that reinforces sound socioeconomic development. Currently, the system of EIA is being legislated to incorporate both environmental and environmental health aspects in a cross-sectoral/cross-cutting approach.

The strategy is being implemented through an Action Plan that is monitored as part of National Development Planning. The Action Plan is currently being developed into policies, programmes, and projects for implementation by the Government and other stakeholders. The main thrust of the Action Plan is the introduction of new innovative approaches to achieve the integration and conservation of natural resources into the development process. Long-term planning perspectives are based on four pillars: human resources development, sustainable use of natural resources, sustainable economic growth and diversification, and timely policies, management and decision-making combined with democracy, a free market economy and political stability. The current Action Plan addresses the following specific issues:

  1. Economic Diversification: different measures to diversify the economy through the use of the natural resource base. This process identifies the natural resources that have the potential to create employment and income, particularly in areas where there are no formal employment opportunities.
  2. Economic Incentives and Disincentives: specific policies and instruments of a macro-economic nature that serve as incentives and disincentives in the quest to improve the conservation of natural resources.
  3. Legislative Provisions and Reforms: legislation that promotes environmental rehabilitation.
  4. Improved Public Awareness, Education, Training and Research Measures.

These strategic goals offer policy makers both better ways of tracing the environmental and social impacts of development, and improved decision making. This maximizes the net wealth of economic activities while maintaining and increasing the stocks of economic, environmental, and socio-cultural assets over time.

Some of the development goals of the Government are the development of new and better uses and optimization of existing natural resources; emphasis on environmental education; and maintenance of the balance between population growth and natural resources availability. These goals are reflected in various statutes and development programmes that have been promulgated over the years.   Some of the major plans include: The National Settlement Policy, which is concerned with planning the settlement system in the country; and the Communal First Development Area (CFDA), a rural development strategy whose major aim integrated rural development.

Botswana's development efforts since independence have been to raise the standards of living of the people of Botswana. This development is guided by four objectives, which include rapid economic growth, economic independence, social justice, and sustainable development. These development objectives include the following aspects:

1.  Economic Independence
    Internal

        External

2.  Rapid Economic Growth (Long Term)

3.  Social Justice 4.  Sustainable Development

Past development policies have been primarily concerned with problems of unemployment, poverty, and inequity in the distribution of incomes. Environmental concerns have not been explicitly featured in policy matters although sustainable development has been an objective of development planning. Consequently, the constraints of development planning appear to be binding on all environmental issues to varying degrees.

The National Conservation Strategy Advisory Board and its implementing arm, the National Conservation Strategy Coordinating Agency, have been involved with the development of National Development Plan 8 (NDP 8) whose theme is Sustainable Economic Diversification. One of the challenges of NDP8 is to reduce absolute poverty through increased incomes and employment creation. The planning also allows Government to set targets against which its performance can be objectively evaluated. Government policy is also focussed on creating an environment conducive to private sector development and expansion.

Conservation is being integrated into development through the use of instruments that help to implement anticipatory policies through the establishment of effective coordination mechanisms to ensure the application of cross sectoral conservation policy, and through the adoption of national accounting systems to include measures of conservation performance. Anticipatory environmental instruments include: taxes, charges, and financial incentives to encourage choices compatible with the maintenance of a healthy environment; technology assessment, design and product regulation; anticipatory and proactive environmental planning; and procedures for rational use allocations.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

The Government is engaged, through various institutions, in environmental education, the major source for the majority of the people being non-formal education. In this activity, non-governmental organizations play an active role. There is certainly need for more environmental education and research so that additional information is provided on available resources and various other aspects of the environment.

Programmes and Projects   

Major programmes include:

  1. The National Policy on Grazing Land, whose main aim is to deal with the problems of overgrazing. The programme is yet to achieve this objective and has recently been reformulated to emphasize land use planning and management on a sustainable basis; and 
  2. The Arable Land Development Programme, which aims to improve production in the arable sector.

Status   

No information available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

It is of interest to note that the draft NDP 8 was subjected to an Environmental Audit that identified, described, and assessed the potential beneficial and adverse environmental consequences of the plan.  The results of the Environmental Audit of NDP 7 and particularly 8 were incorporated in the final version of the sectoral chapters for the NDP 8 process. The cross-cutting issues that have emerged from the audit process are premised on the realization that there is a need to dispel notions that conservation is a limited, independent activity largely concerned with biodiversity or soils conservation, and that ecological factors are an impediment to development, which in some cases may be overlooked or in others simply considered on a case by case basis and not as a matter of policy. Unfortunately, these beliefs are implicit in the way policies are generally formulated.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available


Financing  

No information is available


Cooperation  

No information is available

   

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 9 February 1998.

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MAJOR GROUPS

WOMEN

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Government of Botswana is in the process of reforming departmental structures including that of the National Women's Machinery. It is hoped that the National Women's Machinery will be upgraded before April, 1997.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Government of Botswana has made efforts to remove legal obstacles that obstruct the full integration of women in the development process, namely the Citizenship Amendment Act (1995), and the Mines and Quarries Amendment Act (1995). 

In Botswana, both women and men have equal employment opportunities as reflected in some legislative amendments, for example, the Mines and Quarries Act, and the Employment Act, which allows full salary pay for female civil servants while on maternity leave. The Consultancy on the Review of Laws that Affect the Status of Women in Botswana, being coordinated through the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, will further address other aspects of the law which are not gender sensitive. The main objective of the Consultancy is to conduct a comprehensive study of all laws affecting the status of women, with a view to expanding their rights and thereby enhancing their status in terms of the law. A strategy to eliminate legal and administrative obstacles to women's full participation in sustainable development and in public life will thus be developed.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Women's Affairs Division, in consultation with non governmental organizations, has developed a Draft National Plan of Action based on the Platform for Action from the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China 1995. Further consultations on this Draft National Plan are being conducted throughout the country, especially in rural communities. An Implementation Strategy will be developed with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Financial Assistance Policy (FAP) started being implemented in 1983 in order to diversify the economy of Botswana and create employment. The FAP is more favourable to female entrepreneurs since they are given a higher percentage on grants than males. The grant is based on the location of the business, and rural women are given the opportunity to benefit more from this programme. In addition, different departments of various ministries also provide some assistance and implements for rural communities. 

In order to improve the status of women, and provide a basis for continuous review and monitoring of women's issues in development, the government of Botswana has found it imperative to develop a Policy on Women in Development. This Policy was approved by Parliament on the 9th of July, 1996. The Policy objectives are as follows:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Commendable progress has also been made in the improvement of women's health, as reflected in the Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning Programme (MCH/FP). This programme has been the core strategy for reaching women and children, particularly because they are the most vulnerable groups.

The Government of Botswana has always been concerned about the conservation of the nation's resources when it formulates development policies. It has been realized that development is not sustainable without effective conservation policies. In this regard, the provision of services, such as water and sanitation facilities, are designed, developed, and improved in consultation with women. Now, almost every household is within reach of clean water supply as well as sanitation disposal systems.

Status   

Women constitute more than half the total population of Botswana, with the majority living in rural areas. The Government is fully aware that their integration into the development process is not only an issue of social equality, equity, and national progress; but is also a good strategy to enhance the country's human resource base, increase output, and alleviate poverty. It is apparent that there has been an increase in the number of female head of households resulting from male out-migration; leaving females to shoulder traditionally male responsibilities and often leading to a decline in access to and control of productive assets. This increases the relevancy of government and NGOs efforts to create employment opportunities and improve agricultural inputs and implements, particularly in rural areas. It has been recognized that education is the base for both individual and national development, and recent studies of educational trends in Botswana reflect an improvement in relative opportunities and participation of females in schools and training institutions.

Pre-school education (that is, nurseries, kindergartens and day care centres) has increased in Botswana. This has been a result of the increased involvement of rural women in income generating activities in the labour market, with children being left in the care of pre-school centres as well as with relatives. It is also due to the growing awareness by parents of the social and educational benefits of pre-school education (National Development Plan 7, 1991-1997).

Challenges  

No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Other organizations, such as the Rural Innovative Industries Centre (RIIC), have created environmentally sound technologies and provide training, research, and resource centres for rural communities, particularly for women.

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies  

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is looking into how woman can best benefit from modern technologies.

Financing  

Women's non-governmental organizations are financially assisted by the government and other bodies in order to enhance their capacity building for sustainable development.

Cooperation  

In Botswana, the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has been approved by the Cabinet. It is the Government's commitment to fully implement the Convention.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The principles of the Convention on the Right of the Child are compatible with the rights guaranteed under the Botswana Constitution. Under those principles, Botswana society places undiminished value on the child. However, disparities exist in sharing society's benefits. The Convention provides guidance for the government in its efforts to protect the child and provide an environment for his/her development. From the Convention's standards, the NPA has sited some laws affecting children which need to be reviewed. These include:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

His Excellency the President of Botswana signed the Children's Declaration on Child Survival, Protection and Development at the World Summit in May 1992. Subsequently, the government developed and adopted the National Programme of Action (NPA) to implement the provisions of the Global Declaration. His Excellency the President acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in March 1995. This document legally binds the Republic to adhere to the Convention's provisions, which have been incorporated into the implementation strategies of the NPA. The NPA recognizes that programmes initiated at the national level are put into practice at the district level. This highlights the need to strengthen the districts.

The NPA represents children's policy in Botswana. It identifies the strategies which will be undertaken to address children' s needs, problems, and social hardships. It also contains programmes to be developed and implemented for children of all social strata, including those in remote areas. The NPA highlights the national environmental policy framework, and environmental and child survival issues. This programme of action outlines the strategic areas of responsibility and goals set for each sector in order to address environmental issues as they affect children and the population at large. In particular, where environmental management is concerned, the NPA outlines strategies to address water resources management and sanitation, and environmental pollution. These environmental concerns are significant as far as child survival is concerned.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information available

Programmes and Projects   

Agenda 21 identifies two programme areas for children and youth: 

Hence, their participation in the relevant decision making processes is imperative. This includes local, national, and international plans to implement Agenda 21. The government of Botswana has taken steps to develop measures to improve the welfare of its children.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The Government of Botswana reviewed the educational system in 1993. The process takes note of the environmental problems defined in the National Policy on Natural Resources Conservation and Development. The educational review process is meant, among other things, to enhance the environmental component of the school syllabi. In particular, the content should reflect the environmental issues that are of interest to Botswana. It is recognized that for children to appreciate the national and international efforts towards environmental management they ought to be educated on these subjects, made to participate in environmental activities, and be molded into the future befitting custodians of natural resources. To meet this need, the National Conservation Strategy Agency has initiated, as part of the World Environment Day celebrations, essay competitions for children at all educational levels where they write papers on specific themes about the environment. This activity is done in cooperation with other relevant institutions, government, and non-governmental organizations.

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies  

No information is available

Financing  

No information is available

Cooperation  

The Government of Botswana, with the financial assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has designed a National Environmental Education Strategy as the basis for the Environmental Education Action Plan. The Strategy acknowledges that young people represent an important target group and should be regarded as a distinct and influential force in promoting environmental awareness.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

No information is available

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

No information is available

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

No information is available

WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS

No information is available

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

No information is available

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COMMUNITY

No information is available

FARMERS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

To strengthen the role of farming communities, the government has established programmes which range from:

Farmers are encouraged to form committees and other village based organizations, such as cooperative societies, drift fencing groups, and syndicates in order to delegate power to producers on matters relating to natural resources management, credit facilities, and management of their production systems.  In addition, farmers are supported through an extensive extension system which is provided by the Agricultural Extension Service in the major agricultural regions. 

Status   

Eighty percent of Botswana's population lives in rural areas where its main subsistence and sustenance is based on agricultural production and land-based resource use. The major farming activities involve cattle farming under communal grazing and arable farming practiced on less than five percent of the land surface area.

Challenges  

Targeted subsidies and incentives are provided to farmers for different production systems. The government reviewed the agricultural performance in 1989, and has outlined the constraints affecting farmer production and they include:

Agricultural development policies and other programmes on forestry, land use planning and rural development are addressing these constraints.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The role of farmers is supported through consultations, constant visits, and out-reach programmes such as farmers field days and other initiatives.

Information   

The information given to farmers covers sound farming practices and technologies on crop and animal husbandry, maintenance of land quality, natural resources conservation measures, efficient use of chemicals for pest management, and use of low-input equipment and energy.

During the implementation of National Development Plan 8 (NDP 8), the Agriculture ministry aims to incorporate into its extension network related projects, programmes, and the findings of major studies which have been undertaken. These studies include The Development of the Extension Message, Relationships with the Department of Research, and the proceedings of the First National Conference on Agricultural Extension. These documents outline the procedures and programmes which are needed for the effective and efficient running of the extension service.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available

Financing  

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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SCIENCE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Government has established the Botswana Technology Centre as a centre for the advancement of science and technology. This Centre is mandated to serve as a focal point for the development and dissemination of science and technology. Its objectives are to identify, assess, adapt, evaluate, and monitor technology in support of national development, and to assist in the solution of technological problems. In spite of this effort, science and technology activities in Botswana remain fragmented and scattered over several sectors and, as such, they need coordination, streamlining and proper targeting.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Botswana Government decided to formulate a comprehensive Science and Technology Policy for Botswana with policy elements and strategies for basic and applied science to overcome the major challenges. The Policy includes consideration of knowledge dissemination and application in the community. The Policy will be brought for consideration and adoption by Parliament in July 1997.

The core objectives of the Policy are:

  1. to develop, improve and raise national productive capacity and competitiveness;
  2. to promote and develop traditional, new and innovative technologies; and
  3. to improve and develop scientific and technological awareness, knowledge, and culture in Botswana.

To realize these core objectives, the Policy includes a set of strategies to help build science and technology capacities in the economic and service sectors with an emphasis on rural areas. In the process, the Policy outlines a set of objectives and strategies to stimulate, organize, and use scientific and technological potential to achieve national economic, social, and cultural development goals. The science and technology strategies need to be converted into projects and programmes in order to effect implementation through legislative and executive powers in order to overcome the existing impediments to science and technology development in Botswana. These constraints relate in particular to lack of skilled and experienced human resources; poor scientific infrastructure; and uncoordinated research and general lack of science and technology culture.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information  available 

Programmes and Projects   

No information  available 

Status   

No information available

Challenges  

Botswana lacks a science and technology environment which is conducive to technology transfer. Such a situation, combined with the lack of adequate human resources, is likely to lead to a failure to absorb imported technology. Maximum training of local professionals is important to ensure the transfer of technologies that are conducive to local conditions. 

An analysis of the current situation indicates the existence of impediments and constraints to the development of science and technology, namely:

  1. the lack of skilled and experienced manpower;
  2. poor scientific infrastructure and equipment; and
  3. uncoordinated research and general lack of a science and technology culture.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information available

Information   

No information available

Research and Technologies  

The need to develop science and technology was recognized during the past National Development Plans 6 and 7, despite the impressive economic and social achievements realized in the country over the period. These developments, coupled with a growing population which is increasingly becoming urbanized, modernized, and better educated, have resulted in changes in the demand for goods and services. The demand for industrial products and modern goods and services is expected to accelerate in the coming years. Moreover, the demand for skilled human resources, particularly professionals in the areas of science, medicine, and engineering is expected to rise significantly. The ability for Botswana to compete in the provision of high quality products and services depends heavily on investment in science and technology, including research.

Financing   

In terms of funding, more resources will be required to finance expected activities in areas of research institutions and research in general. This is in addition to existing allocations to sectors implementing science and technology programmes. Such funding will include contributions from the private sector, the government, NGOs, and the donor community.

Cooperation  

No information available

*  * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 9 February 1998.

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INFORMATION

No information is available

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INTERNATIONAL LAW

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies  

No information is available

Financing  

No information is available

Cooperation  

The Botswana Government signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change during the UNCED World Summit, and has subsequently ratified the following international agreements:

  1. Convention to Combat Desertification;
  2. Convention on Biological Diversity;
  3. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Wildlife Habitat;
  4. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species; and
  5. the agreement concerning the Southern African Centre for Ivory Marketing (SACCIM).

The implementation of the provisions of the these conventions is underway, despite limiting resources. Effective implementation requires substantial flows of new and additional financial resources in order to cover the incremental costs for the actions Botswana has to take to correct such environmental problems and to accelerate sustainable development.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.



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