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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BOTSWANA

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The 1991 National Policy on Agricultural Development focused on agrarian reform, which included replacing the food self sufficiency goal with the concept of food security, promoting diversification of agricultural production, and incorporating the element of sustainable food production primarily through improved management of production resources. Agriculture was diversified through the adoption of non-traditional production systems and products. The Government has, for example, encouraged farmers to engage in horticulture production where conditions allow, and in harvesting and processing veld products. However, the transition to new forms of production is slow, but efforts are being made through targeted subsidies, such as the Financial Assistance Policy (FAP) to encourage people to participate. With this reform, Botswana has exceeded the 1995 target for this programme area.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The Government of Botswana launched the Arable Land Development Programme (ALDEP) in 1980. This Programme, which has now gone through a number of phases, goes a long way to address the agricultural concerns cited in Agenda 21. It has assisted resource poor farmers to enable them to participate in agriculture, attain food security at the household level, and earn income from the sale of surplus produce. The assistance includes seeds and fencing of fields to protect crops. There are also a number of complementary programmes, such as strengthening the extension system through training of manpower and extension facilities (offices, transport, etc.).

The Government of Botswana established a programme on agricultural water development under the Ministry of Agriculture in 1967. Through this programme agricultural reservoirs are constructed for watering livestock and for the irrigation of horticultural crops. This programme continues to receive support and will be strengthened in the National Development Plan 8 (NDP 8).

Work on tillage systems has shown that double ploughing improves infiltration and enhances soil moisture conservation properties, with increased total moisture available to the crop. On-going research seeks to identify grazing systems that would encourage forage rehabilitation and good maintenance in terms of quality and quantity. Preliminary results indicate that continuous grazing during the dry period is less destructive to range than grazing during the growing periods. The conservation and sustainable utilization of plant and animal genetic resources for food and sustainable agriculture is being implemented in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity. In the future, the establishment and persistence of legume forage under range conditions will be studied.

Botswana recognizes that reliance on chemicals for the control of pests is dangerous in the long term and unsustainable. Integrated Pest Management is currently promoted through initiatives by the agricultural research system and others. These initiatives include breeding and selecting crops resistant to major pests and diseases. Capacity has been enhanced by the establishment of a Plant Protection Division within the Ministry of Agriculture. The Division is responsible for the control of migratory and economically important pests, development of procedures for safe handling and disposal of pesticides, and for promoting sustainable pest control technologies.

Most of the land farmed in Botswana is marginal. Soil fertility management is, therefore, extremely important in the maintenance of soil productivity and sustainable use of the land to avoid degradation. Botswana does not produce chemical fertilizers.

Research on crop rotation of cereals and legumes has shown positive benefits in the improvement of soil fertility and increased yields. Current research activities seek to establish a system that will give maximum benefit to the farmer. Inter-cropping experiments have begun recently with the aim of improving mixed cropping as a manageable system that will maximize the benefits of both row planting and mixed cropping. Such a system is also beneficial to the soil. In addition, soil fertility management has also become an important part of the implementation of soil conservation.

Research programmes on cereals, oilseeds, and legumes are evaluating genotypes for drought tolerance and escape. Breeding activities also concentrate on associated traits such as early flowering and maturity which are considered to be escape mechanisms for drought. Research is now beginning on indigenous crops, such as watermelons, traditionally recognized as drought tolerant. Other exotic crops of dry regions, such as cassava, pigeon peas, and sweet potatoes, are being studied for potential adaptation to Botswana's conditions.

Most of the resources used to implement the programme areas cited above come from domestic sources.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No information is available

Information   

A number of projects and programmes, some of which pre-date Agenda 21, have been launched to address agricultural and rural development concerns. The survey and mapping of soils at the national level started in 1981 and was completed in 1990. Information derived from this programme has been used to determine land suitability for various uses. It will be further applied in the inventory of degraded lands, through the on-going Soil Conservation Project, launched in 1992 and the Range Inventory and Monitoring Project launched in 1993. The former funded by the Government of Botswana, and the latter partially funded by the British Government.

Research and Technologies   

The potential use of crop residues, their nutritional status, and management methods for livestock feed are being studied, together with the identification of locally available feed resources. The development of breeds adapted to local environmental conditions, production systems, and farmer preference is an on-going process involving emphasis on efficient input utilization, productivity, and competitiveness under marginal conditions. The development of a composite breed with some of the above attributes is in its final stages. In the future, breeding work will be expanded to include non-conventional but adapted animals, such as ostriches.

Programmes and Projects for details

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.

For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
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Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In recognition of global warming and other environmental climatic concerns, an energy master plan that emphasizes and draws on non carbon based power supplies has been developed. A rural electrification programme has been developed, which emphasizes, where practicable, the use of solar energy for lighting and other power supplies.  The basis for action is the concern over climate change and climate variability, air pollution, and ozone depletion which have created new demands for scientific, economic, and social information to reduce the remaining uncertainties in these fields. Better understanding and prediction are needed of the various properties of the atmosphere and affected ecosystems, including health impacts and their interactions with socioeconomic factors. In Botswana, this would include better understanding of the role of the Kalahari as a sink to reduce greenhouse gas levels. Improved management of veld fires to curbs emissions from agricultural management is also required.

In the future, strategies will be developed to ensure that the available electrical power supply is used to the maximum. Emphasis will be placed on power efficiency in the areas of power generation, power transmission, and end use. Specific projects to address these areas will be developed and, where appropriate, funding will be sought.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The basic objective of the atmospheric protection programme area is to improve the understanding of processes that influence and are influenced by the earth's atmosphere on global, regional, and local scales, including physical, chemical, geological, biological, oceanic, hydrological, economic, and social processes. Mitigation and response measures addressing such changes and capacity building through enhanced international cooperation are key programme elements. In Botswana, these issues are addressed through the relevant technical institutions, both governmental and non-governmental.

Status   

The Terms of Reference for a National Climate Committee have been finalized.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

In Botswana, as in many other countries, the issues of atmospheric pollution and monitoring were not well understood prior to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Therefore, training of personnel continues to be undertaken through Government and donor support to develop capacity to meet the challenges of a changing atmosphere.

Information   

A draft report of the inventory of Green-house Gas Emissions and Sinks was discussed and reviewed at the March 1997 seminar. The report consists of four technical chapters on energy, agriculture, waste, and forestry and land use sectors. Further reviews will be conducted to ensure Botswana's compliance, taking into consideration the new reporting formats.

Botswana continues to strengthen the networks of atmospheric and climate monitoring stations to ensure that data and information on the climate of Botswana are available for further synthesis and studies on the extent and impact of climate change in Botswana.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

Botswana has acceded to both the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its associated Montreal Protocol on the Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Republic became party to both treaties from 2 March 1992. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was ratified on January 20, 1994.

Botswana, as Party to the Montreal Protocol, has undertaken to phase-out the use of ozone depleting substances (ODSs). This step has been taken recognizing that substitutes are available. In 1994, it was determined that the per capita consumption of the controlled substances under the Montreal Protocol in Botswana was low, about 0.02kg. This classifies Botswana as a developing country operating under Article 5 paragraph 1 of the Protocol.

Parties to the Montreal Protocol whose per capita consumption of the controlled substances is less than 0.3kg are allowed a grace period to delay their compliance with the Protocol for ten years from the date of entry into force of the protocol for the party. In the case of Botswana, the use of ODSs is allowed by the Protocol until the year 2002. Arrangements have been made to assist developing countries operating under Article 5 with funds and technical support from a Multilateral Fund. Botswana qualifies for this support to reduce or phase out the use of ODSs in accordance with its obligations.

In order to meet Botswana's obligations under the Montreal Protocol and to ensure cost effective compliance, the country has to provide information, annually, on the quantity of ozone depleting substances used in Botswana; develop a phase out of the use/consumption of ozone depleting substances; and promote awareness and information exchange on the availability of options and alternatives to controlled substances in certain products (domestic refrigerators, air conditioners, degreasers and solvents or cleaning agents, aerosol spray cans, fumigants, and fire extinguishers).

The main concerns related to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in Botswana are: 

The country is planning to hold a number of seminars and workshops and to publish relevant material in the local press and media on the Montreal Protocol and its implementation in Botswana. The Government plans to discuss the policy implications of the Protocol for Botswana; brief all respective Councils, other government and no-governmental organizations, educators and health personnel; train refrigeration technicians; and raise public awareness through art competitions, newspaper publications, radio and other media.

With respect to the UNFCCC in Botswana, a number of activities have already been undertaken and others are being developed related to the initial national communication required by Articles 4 and 12 of the Convention. Botswana has benefited from training of national experts to complete inventories of greenhouse gases and the development of vulnerability and mitigation assessment programmes. Two national seminars to raise awareness on global warming and climate change were held in Gaborone in July 1995 and March 1997.  A number of briefings aimed at informing authorities on the UNFCCC and how it will impact on the social and economic sectors in Botswana have been prepared and delivered.

Financial support has been sought to enable Botswana to carry out vulnerability and mitigation studies and to further refine the national inventory of greenhouse gases. Funded projects will give emphasis to the development of mitigation and adaptation strategies under various climate change scenarios. Botswana benefits from funding from the Global Environment Facility to assist in developing the initial National Communications to the Conference of the Parties (COP-2) to the UNFCCC.

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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.

Click here for national information from the Web Site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Prior to Rio, Botswana had laws to protect and conserve biodiversity. These included:

Plans are underway to draft a Plant Genetic Resource Conservation Act, based on the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) International Code of Conduct for Plant Germplasm Collection and Transfer, and to draft Environmental Impact Assessment legislation. The lack of impact assessment legislation remains a drawback since environmental considerations remain at the discretion of developers.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government of Botswana endeavours to maintain biodiversity by conserving natural habitats and wildlife in protected areas with minimal interference and adaptive management. Outside protected areas, the Government encourages the sustainable utilization of wildlife resources to boost the national economy for the benefit of citizens. The Wildlife Conservation Policy (1986) prescribes the utilization of wildlife resources of Botswana on a sustainable basis.

A draft Community Based Natural Resource Management Policy (CBNRM) now exists. This policy fosters the creation of incentives for the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources. This approach realizes that efforts to conserve natural resources can only flourish if poverty is eradicated or kept at a minimum. Communities are encouraged to enter into joint ventures with the private sector to realize optimal economic benefits. One pilot project has already been established. In addition, three other communities will benefit from the commercial use of a wildlife quota this year, while another four will benefit from subsistence use.

Game farming for commercial purposes in Botswana has been confined to ostrich and crocodile. The three crocodile farms existed before Rio, but the number of ostrich farms has continued to grow. In view of this rapid growth, an Ostrich Management Policy was elaborated in 1994. Although Botswana has healthy populations of crocodile and ostrich, farms are potential sources for re-introductions into the wild.

Botswana had a land use plan prior to the Rio Declaration. The plan has since been improved to demarcate administrative blocks. Protected areas in Botswana cover 18% of the land area, while an additional 22% of the land is designated as wildlife management areas (WMAs). The latter form buffers between protected area and areas of intensive agricultural activities. Wildlife use is the primary form of land use in wildlife management areas, and only compatible activities are permitted within these areas. Therefore, approximately 40% of the national territory is rich in wildlife and it has been possible to maintain it that way. Outside these areas, wildlife is still widespread but its abundance and species richness is inversely related to the extent of human development.

Since the Biodiversity Convention was signed, several protected areas have been merged or upgraded to national park status. These include the merging of the Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi Pan National Park, the Moremi Game Reserve with the Chobe National Park, and the Mabuasehube Game Reserve with the Gemsbok National Park. Khutse and the Central Kalahari are the only game reserves left. Area management plans exist at least in draft form for all parks except for the Khutse and Central Kalahari Game Reserves. Nine of the thirteen proposed wildlife management areas have been gazetted. Of these, management plans at least in draft form exist for seven of nine districts. Communal areas are also included in district management plans. The provision of water for wildlife has up to date been limited to protected areas. There are 25 boreholes in parks and reserves.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Since Rio, the Government has adopted a structured approach to decentralize the management of natural resources to the people of Botswana and the private sector. This has been done through activities such as community projects, photographic and hunting safaris in WMAs, and game ranches on freehold land. These activities existed prior to the Rio Declaration, but they were not clearly designed, mapped, and regulated to promote the conservation of biodiversity. Managers are now charged with monitoring the resource stock and, in return, benefit from either consumptive or non-consumptive use of wildlife and the wilderness resource. Draft regulations exist for WMAs, and for game ranching and farming.

The Botswana Government recognizes tourism as the next potential engine of economic growth for the country. Currently tourism is almost entirely based on wildlife and the wilderness resource, and can occur in WMAs and game ranches. Twelve of fourteen WMAs designated for commercial use are operational.

The rhinoceros is a threatened species in Botswana. Since 1995 it has been bred in captivity in community and Government facilities. Falconry, with one established project, is gradually being established in Botswana. Breeding for restocking into the wild is also undertaken.

Status   

Our adhesion to some conventions, particularly CITES, however, prohibits Botswana from utilizing some of the conserved resources, particularly the elephant herds which are now too large for the wildlife habitats and are already doing irreparable damage to the ecosystem. Botswana's own herd is estimated at 80,000 and our efforts, together with a group of five countries in Southern Africa, to have some utilization schemes developed have been strongly resisted by the international community. The worrisome thing about this particular issue is that objective scientific facts are being ignored. It is in this context that Southern African countries seek to ensure that limited and regulated trade in ivory is permitted by CITES once again. Such trade could significantly enhance the value of elephants to those who live with them on a daily basis, thus providing an incentive for the protection and conservation of this vital resource.

Challenges  

A number of constraints have inhibited biodiversity conservation in Botswana. The scattered nature of resource management departments and agencies has lead to a lack of harmony in policies and uncoordinated activities. The challenge of natural resources conservation in the twenty first century requires a well structured and efficient institution with a clearly defined long term vision. In this regard, the government's department responsible for the management of wildlife resources is currently being structured to enable it to operate efficiently and effectively. Currently, Botswana does not have regulations or legislation which address intellectual property rights. Management, conservation, and development of biodiversity is hampered by insufficient technology and skilled personnel. However, the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute, is grappling with this task by equipping officers with sufficient knowledge and skills to manage wildlife resources effectively.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The Government completed an active campaign of public educating on the need to conserve natural resources and biological diversity well before the Biodiversity Convention. Conservation education is accomplished through the media, the formation of wildlife clubs in schools, and the inclusion of environmental conservation in school curricula. The siting of educational parks in close proximity to urban centres has been an effective tool for increasing environmental awareness. The parks also serve as centres for the propagation of endangered species.

Botswana continues to train anti-poaching personnel so they can deal with modern, sophisticated poachers. Anti-poaching efforts have intensified with an increase in the number of officers involved, and an increase in equipment to combat illegal off-take. The control of wildlife off-take should also improve significantly as soon as the licensing regulations, which are currently in draft form, come into force.

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

In order to manage natural resources wisely and effectively, it is essential to understand natural ecological systems, the biology of their communities, and the gene pools. The strategic Plan for Wildlife Research in Botswana is a blue print of priority research areas. The broad goals of the research agenda are pursued under three programmes, namely: monitoring, applied research, and veterinary services.

The monitoring programme addresses the development of wildlife population surveys, including a baseline inventory of wildlife populations and habitats, and the monitoring of changes including the determination of off-take. There now exists a database of population sizes of various wildlife species. However, with the extensive implementation of utilization schemes, this programme will be intensified to determine sustained levels of off-take.

Applied research includes studies on wildlife management problems, such as problems related to the elephant population, the provision of water for wildlife, and the control of nuisance predators. It also includes research on the ecology of specific species and communities, and studies of factors affecting wildlife utilization, such as game fencing and trophy animal off-take strategies. Extensive studies on wildlife-habitat relationships are in place, and there is a growing focus on wildlife movement patterns.

The Government has embarked on veterinary research into wildlife disease control and genetic mapping. The country is also studying veterinary restrictions on the movements of wildlife and wildlife products which constrain effective wildlife utilization. A National Plant Genetic Resource Committee was established in 1987 to advise the Government on the formulation of guidelines for the collection and conservation of germplasm. Since Rio, this committee has established a National Plant Genetic Resource Centre.

The research programmes are currently being implemented in pursuit of a better understanding of Botswana's wildlife resources, and to monitor replenishment and consumption to ensure sustainability. Under the Wildlife Conservation Policy (1986), management plans for various species have been made to ensure that they are used sustainably. These include species management plans for elephant and ostrich, while policies on falconry, guinea fowl and crocodile are still in draft form. Terms of reference for a flamingo management plan have been drafted.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Convention on Biological Diversity was ratified by the Government of Botswana on October 12, 1995. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was ratified on November 14, 1977.

Regional cooperation on the conservation of biological diversity in Southern Africa has existed for a long time through the Southern African Regional Commission for the Conservation and Utilization of the Soil (SARCCUS), and the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC). Botswana is also a party to the Southern African Convention for Wildlife Management (SACWM), formerly the Southern African Centre for Ivory Marketing (SACIM), and has collaborated closely with the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR). Such cooperation resulted in standardized and coordinated wildlife surveys in the Southern African Region, through the Elephant Survey and Mapping (ELESMAP) Project which started in 1995. Recent plans to merge Botswana's Gemsbok National Park with South Africa's Kalahari Gemsbok National Park to form a trans-frontier park are in progress and a draft management plan has been prepared. A similar development is proposed along the Limpopo Valley between Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

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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.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Botswana government realizes that drought is a recurrent phenomena and must be planned far ahead of its occurrence. In this respect, institutions have been set up in relevant Ministries to deal with various aspects of drought management. Early warning units have been set up in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Meteorological Services. An inter-ministerial drought committee, chaired by the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, has been established. This committee oversees drought monitoring and assessment, and recommends required action on the basis of assessment reports. Responsibility for managing and distributing drought relief food is vested in the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing. During drought periods all ministries and local authorities are mobilized to assist in relief programmes including public works projects designed to create employment during difficult times.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The rural economy of Botswana is based on animal production, especially cattle farming. Rangeland resources, which cover more than 60% of the country and are the basis for the cattle industry, are the most affected by degradation albeit to varying degrees according to location. Problems associated with degradation are difficult to remedy. The Tribal Grazing Lands Policy (TGLP) of 1975 introduced ranch development for designated parts of tribal land where farmers or groups of farmers could have exclusive use of range resources. It was expected that this would help improve livestock productivity and more importantly enhance the management of rangeland within these enclosures. The implementation of this policy has been marked by varying degrees of success depending on the training related to the management of resources and livestock. The Agricultural Development Policy of 1991 further extends this concept into areas which have hitherto been zoned for communal use.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Numerous programmes and policies intended to combat desertification in Botswana predate Agenda 21. Most of these are broad and inclusive rural development programmes whose funding was derived from past national development plans. Areas which have received attention include livestock development and improvement, grazing and ranch development, improving dryland farming systems, strengthening agricultural extension, establishment of early warning systems, drought monitoring and assessment capability, and forestry development, among others.

Botswana has recently concluded a comprehensive study of poverty. From this study a comprehensive programme will be elaborated to address the poverty problem, particularly in rural areas where people depend heavily on their not so well endowed natural environment. This is expected to involve the strengthening of some existing initiatives such as the Arable Lands Development Programme, which assists resources-poor farmers with various farming packages and subsidies.

A National Action Programme (NAP), established in the context of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought (CCD), has been launched with the requirement to ensure that people participate in anti-desertification programmes.

Land degradation is severe, particularly around settlements where depletion of vegetation from livestock grazing is compounded by deforestation mainly to satisfy fuel woods requirements. Efforts are being made in many villages to plant trees for rehabilitation and to augment the supply of fuel wood from natural woodlands. These rehabilitation efforts include sand dune stabilization projects which have become popular in the drier parts of Botswana.

Status   

Desertification is defined as land degradation which occurs in dry areas and is associated with climate variations and human activity. When desertification occurs it reduces the biological potential or the carrying capacity of land to unsustainable levels and making it lose natural resilience. This in turn has a negative impact on affected communities and may lead to wide spread poverty, hunger, and migration of the population. Recent studies show that 91,000 km2 or 15.5% of Botswana is affected by land degradation or desertification. Therefore, implementation of the provisions of the Convention to Combat Desertification is crucial for Botswana.

Environmental degradation and resource depletion have negative impacts on the rural economy. This requires that a critical analysis of environmental problems be undertaken. The impact of grazing lands and forest resources, caused by the expansion of the livestock and wildlife herds, and exacerbated by the continual occurrence of droughts, are significant rural development planning issues related to both the conservation of the nation's resource base and rural poverty.

Challenges  

The impacts of desertification are substantial in both socioeconomic and bio-physical terms. People are most concerned with the former as desertification reduces their incomes and depresses their living conditions. Some manage to make up for the losses incurred through formal employment and the sale of livestock or veld products. However, the poor, who depend mostly on dryland cultivation, hunting wildlife, and the collection of veld products, have little to fall back on and are the hardest hit. The bio-physical impacts include wind erosion and loss of biodiversity.

There are two interrelated cycles that affect the long term sustainability of the environment. Firstly, over utilization of the resources (as occurs today) adversely affects the productive potential of the environment leading to a weak resource base. This is evidenced by the declining wildlife numbers and reduced availability of veld products. Continued over-exploitation will negatively affect the regenerative capacity of the environment. Secondly, poor people rely most heavily on "free" natural resources in the vicinity of their home where depletion is usually most serious. The poor are thus disproportionately affected by the decline in productivity of the environment, and suffer most income losses. As a result, they are often compelled to further increase resource pressure to support a decent standard of living. The net effect is that people living in these areas are poorer and this status quo accelerates desertification and poverty.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

In Botswana, consultation is a tradition. Thus, the Government recognizes that combating desertification can only succeed through the participation of all those affected or cause desertification while they are trying to make a living from limited resources. Early efforts to sensitize stakeholders and the public on land degradation and desertification continue through Government supported initiatives under various programmes, including the NAP.

Information   

The conclusion of the Mid-Boteti study suggested that in order to have workable solutions, it is imperative to know the view and secure the active participation of the local population. Whilst most people believe that the primary cause of desertification was physical, the primary impacts were thought to be socioeconomic, including the loss of income opportunities and the lowering of living standards. Measures aimed at mitigating desertification target correction and prevention. It is believed that most of the environment still possesses sufficient resilience to recover once the main causes of desertification have been removed.

Botswana was one of the affected countries chosen to carry out the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INCD) case study for the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought. The study was conducted at Rakops, an area in Botswana which is affected by severe land degradation. This study on strengthening the knowledge base was a useful contribution to the formulation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought. It clearly identified the need for a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach which addresses poverty as a means of dealing with the root cause of desertification.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

See under Cooperation.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa was ratified in Botswana on September 11, 1996.

Some work is being initiated under the Desert Margins Initiative, an integrated national, regional, and international research programme for developing sustainable natural resources management options to combat land degradation in sub-Saharan Africa. The program is led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Department of Integrated Agricultural Research serves as the national coordinator. The following is a brief summary of the objectives of this initiative:

The importance that the Botswana government attaches to problems of land degradation and desertification is demonstrated by Botswana's contribution towards the preparations for the International Convention on Desertification through a study that was carried out in the Mid-Boteti area. The specific objectives of the study were to determine the extent and elements of desertification; to assess local perception about desertification and its consequences; and to involve the local population in assessing the desirability of abatement measures and options for alternative sources of incomes.

The study was consistent with Draft Resolution 1 of the Convention and Chapter 12 of Agenda 21. It used the definition for desertification as "land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry-humid areas resulting from various factors including climatic variations and human activities" derived from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The analysis of the study showed the linkages between the forms of desertification.  Through the Kalahari/Namib Project, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the public, farmers, land users, land allocation authorities, traditional leaders, and non-governmental organizations were informed about the causes and impacts of desertification and drought. A national awareness campaign is about to be concluded. Communities in affected areas have shown considerable interest and are prepared to participate in anti-desertification programmes.

Botswana has in the past secured assistance for drought relief, but increasingly the needs are met by mobilizing domestic funds. A number of organizations, including UN agencies, have provided funds to assist the government where such projects have not been adequately provided for in the National Development Plan. The United Nations Office to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNDP/UNSO) has provided funding for the first phase of the National Action Programme, established in the context of the Convention to Combat Desertification. UNEP has also provided funding through the Environment and Land Management Sector (ELMS) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the Kalahari-Namib project. There are numerous other programmes in which other donors play a significant role.

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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.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In recognition of global warming and other environmental climatic concerns, an energy master plan that emphasizes and draws on non-carbon based power supplies has been developed. The Rural Electrification Programme is on course, although so far the national electricity grid has only reached the main villages. This Programme, emphasizes where practicable, the use of solar energy for lighting and other power supplies.

 Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

In the 1980s, Botswana launched an Expanded Coal Utilization Programme (ECUP) in order to provide the country with a more sustainable alternative to fuelwood. Unfortunately, Botswana still uses fuelwood extensively, particularly for cooking and heating. This dependence on wood causes deforestation, especially around settlements. Continuation and expansion of the ECUP programme is highly recommended.

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   

The roles played by the Botswana Technology Centre and Rural Industries Innovation Centre in developing energy saving and renewable energy technologies are significant to human settlement development. Some of these technologies include:

These institutions are also involved in disseminating information on the use of energy saving techniques and energy saving appliances.

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 Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The existing forestry legislation as well as the monitoring of forest resource utilization and management are deficient. Critical issues of forest policy and legislation have been under comprehensive review to improve the economic as well as the environmental management of Botswana's forest resources. A Draft Policy document followed by Draft Revised Legislation should be presented to Parliament by December 1997. These policy documents are to incorporate the Government's commitments to the implementation of the ideals of Agenda 21.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

One of the strategies proposed under the current National Development Plan, is to develop and implement a National Forest Action Plan. The action plan is expected to enhance the protection, conservation and sustainable use of natural woodlands, and will help to promote forest rehabilitation, regeneration, afforestation, and reforestation by communities.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Under the Forestry Development Programme for the period 1997 to 2003, funds have been approved to undertake comprehensive forest inventories in the Nata State Lands and Ngamiland. This will lead to the formulation of sustainable multiple use management plans for the conservation and efficient utilization of forest resources in these areas. A Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring Programme has also been initiated with support from the British Overseas Development Administration to develop methodologies for data and information collection and processing, and to ensure accuracy and consistency.

The Nursery, Woodlot, and Afforestation Programme is to be expanded. This will include upgrading the existing twenty government forestry nurseries and establishing additional ones, securing community involvement, including schools, in raising backyard nurseries, establishing village woodlots, setting up research trials and demonstrations to promote forestry and agro-forestry activities, and strengthening the forestry extension programme. A National Tree Seed Centre is to be constructed to augment existing tree seed nurseries to maintain high quality seeds and to be a depository for genetic material.

Fifty wood-lots covering about 1000 hectares have been established in the country, mainly to produce fire wood for villages and for rehabilitation purposes. In addition, a number of projects which rely on afforestation for rehabilitation, such as for sand dune stabilization, have been established in many parts of the country. This amount of planted forests can hardly satisfy the increasing demand for fuel-wood and timber building materials, leading to over exploitation of natural woodlands.

A bee-keeping programme is being promoted as one of the ways through which the contribution of forests to human needs and welfare can be widened. This is consistent with the Agricultural Development Policy, which seeks to diversify food production and improve opportunities for income generation by the rural poor, particularly women. Bee-keeping is promoted through the integration of this activity into village wood-lots, plantations and orchards, for both honey and beeswax production.

Agenda 21 encourages all governments to strengthen and improve human resources, technical and professional skills, as well as expertise and capabilities to effectively formulate and implement policies, plans, programmes, research and projects on the management of all types of forests and forest lands. The Government of Botswana has demonstrated its commitment to strengthen the forestry sector, including forestry research, through the allocation of development funds and the creation of an administrative infrastructure during the current National Development Plan period. Funds will be used to implement Forest Management Plans for gazetted forest reserves; including re-surveying, demarcation, opening and maintenance of fire-breaks, early burning of potential fire hazard veld under a consolidated fire management plan, and the strengthening of the Timber Harvesting and Forest Utilization and Monitoring Unit.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

Veld and forest products in Botswana play a vital role in the daily lives of most Botswana people, particularly in rural areas. Forest resources have potential as a source of employment, household and national income, and are important for the protection of the environment. As pressure on such resources increases, over exploitation and degradation become problems. Silvicultural and forest products research and development are needed. This would cover species trials and assessment of the commercial potential of various tree and veld products, such as grapple plant (devil's claw), morula, morama, truffles, macula leaves, gonometa cocoons, and mopane worms.

Despite the efforts made so far, there is still inadequate information on the extent of forest resources, forest ecology, and sustainable use of woodlands and veld products for most parts of the country. However, the Government is actively promoting the establishment of systems for the assessment and systematic observations of forests and forest lands with a view to assessing the impacts of programmes and projects on the quality and extent of forest resources, land available for afforestation, effects of land tenure on the forestry sector, and the untapped potential of forestry as a major source of income, both at the household and national levels.

The government's capacity to conduct forest research is limited, but modest forestry research initiatives have been made by non-governmental organizations and the University of Botswana. There is still need for improved coordination, and strengthening existing institutions in order to improve local capacity to undertake forestry research in Botswana. There are ample opportunities for collaboration with any willing external support to develop forestry research.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information   

The Government of Botswana is committed to improve the conservation and management of Botswana's forestry resources on a sustainable basis through sustainable forest management plans, among others. A major forest land inventory was undertaken in the gazetted forests in the Chobe District in order to assess timber stock volumes, regeneration of timber, and the impacts of wildlife such as elephant damage, and so forth. Data derived from the inventory is used to prepare management plans, harvesting techniques, conservation and research activities and multiple use of forests and woodlands. Mapping and inventory of other forested areas and their ecosystem's characteristics will be initiated during the current plan period. Information from this exercise will be used to determine the potential for the supply of timber products and other non-consumptive uses such as eco-tourism.

In the gazetted forest reserves, the impact of unsustainable commercial timber harvesting, and the under-valuation of timber resources became apparent from the results of the inventory of forest resources. This resulted in an embargo on commercial harvesting, and a number of timber concessions were terminated on expiry in 1993. In addition, a thorough valuation analysis was undertaken leading to the revision of the existing schedule of forest management fees to promote efficient utilization and assessment and recover the full value of forest goods and services. Following these studies, a Timber Harvesting and Control Unit has been established to monitor and control the use of forest resources.

Research and Technologies   

Capability in the development of land suitability and land-use plans has been established. This assists the implementation of district-based sustainable management of all land forms including conservation of forests and the greening of degraded areas. In order to facilitate data compilation and management, a remote sensing facility and a geographic information system have been established.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Government of Botswana, with support from the European Union under the Lome IV Convention, sponsored a Forestry Protection and Development Programme between 1993 and 1997 which concentrated on expanding the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture to better monitor and protect existing forests and develop their proper conservation and management on a sustainable long-term basis.

The Government of Botswana, in collaboration with Member States of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), participates in common based programmes on forestry development to promote and strengthen research, planning, training, capacity building, and human resources development to enhance the sustainable utilization of the regional forest resources. A forestry training programme has been established at the Botswana College of Agriculture with support from the Government of Finland. It has entered into its second phase.

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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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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Government of Botswana has, therefore, demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability in the Okavango through its substantial legislation, regulation and policies designed to promote the conservation and sustainable use of its natural resources, and through its National Conservation Strategy.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government of Botswana has responded to the challenge posed by freshwater resources by formulating the National Water Master Plan (NWMP), the first phase of which was completed in 1992. The main objective of the NWMP was to assess water requirements for all users, based on projected water demands for a period of 30 years between 1990 and 2020. The NWMP also took into consideration effects of water development on the environment over the period of its implementation. Prior to the establishment of the NWMP, (between 1990 and 1992), Botswana undertook an assessment of its water requirements.

The provision of water for agricultural purposes is carried out under the framework of the National Policy on Agriculture, which lays emphasis on providing adequate and secure livelihoods for those involved in agriculture and increasing food self-sufficiency. Agro-based industries such as inland fisheries and small-stock rearing are encouraged. The Government uses the Financial Assistance Policy to assist those interested, while simultaneously conserving agricultural land resources.

The Government has a deliberate policy to provide the population with water at affordable tariffs. Findings of the Rural Water Supply (RWS) study, which was part of the NWMP, indicate that supply is close to the 100% coverage target for urban centres and large villages, but rural dwellers living in small or scattered settlements do not enjoy these benefits.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Community participation is encouraged and monitored from the inception of projects. In fact, the initiation of projects is by communities themselves with assistance from the Agricultural Extension staff. The Government, through its various establishments, such as Rural Training Centres, assists target groups in building the desirable management capabilities. The objective is for communities to own such facilities and not the Government.

Programmes and Projects   

In its first phase, the NWMP developed several projects including the North-South Carrier project which is already being implemented. This project involves the construction of a dam at Letsibogo and a pipeline to transfer water to the southern part of the country at a cost of P1.2 billion. Additional sources of fresh water identified during this first phase will be developed to alleviate widespread water shortages all over the country. Another aspect of the NWMP is the establishment of inter-links between adjacent boreholes to supply neighboring villages.

Small filtration facilities will be set up at some of the larger projects to supply potable water to beneficiaries. This is part of the Lands Area Water Supply Progamme (LAWS). Furthermore, a programme of rehabilitating and equipping hand-dug wells was also introduced in the mid 1980's. Through this programme the quality of water drawn from open wells has been improved and hand pumps have make it easy for farmers to draw water.

DWA has since made it compulsory for all water development projects to be supported by independent Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Studies following the 1991 experience from the Southern Okavango integrated Water Development Project. A section which monitors pollution of water sources has been established under DWA. There is also an Aquatic Weeds Control Unit, stationed in Maun, which samples and analyses water from the area to establish a water quality information baseline.

The Ministry of Agriculture has been constructing small dams for agricultural purposes for the past three decades. Some of these structures have the potential to support small scale irrigation projects of up to 15 hectares. Plans are at an advanced stage to use these structures by leasing out plots to qualifying individuals and groups of farmers. Utilization of such facilities will result in the reduction of horticultural imports and generate employment for the rural dwellers in addition to supporting the livestock industry.

It is understood that the perpetual change of the Delta's composition is necessary for the maintenance of the biodiversity of the wetland. However, the critical function of the flora and fauna in this process is only beginning to be studied. The uses of the Delta waters for agricultural, mining, and domestic demands are not necessarily ecologically unsustainable, but water development plans must be carefully appraised and considered. One such project, entailing major excavations of the Boro river and the construction of three large dams and reservoirs, is the Southern Okavango Integrated Water Development Project (SOIWDP). The SOIWDP was designed to augment water from the Boro river to meet the needs of 15,000 ha of irrigation at Maun and the Orapa diamond mine.

Status   

Botswana is generally dry with low, unreliable, and unevenly distributed rainfall both in space and time. The occurrence of long spells of drought are very common. Very often water sources such as dams, sand rivers, and hand dug wells dry up. These characteristics seriously affect productivity in all sectors and leave rural populations with few or no resources. This situation calls for prudence in the planning, management, and utilization of fresh water resources.

Challenges  

These challenges require global partnership founded on a bio-ethic energized by communication, education and training, all of which reflect common values for the respect of nature and self responsibility. International cooperation should continue to support and supplement national efforts. In this context, the United Nations system has a key role to play. Other international, regional, and sub-regional organizations are also called upon to contribute to this effort. The broadest possible public participation and active involvement of non-governmental organizations and other groups should also continue to be encouraged.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

The Government plays a major role in financing water resource projects for agricultural purposes and rural areas. Urban water is however sold at cost recovery rates.

Cooperation

Overall planning for fresh water development remains the prerogative of the Government. However, the responsibility for water supply for urban and industrial use rests with a parastatal, the Water Utilities Corporation. This Corporation develops water sources and supplies water for domestic, industrial and other urban uses at charges intended to recover costs of development and operation. The supply of water for urban consumption is not subsidized and, therefore, the operation is self sustaining. 

Botswana shares several water sources with neighboring countries. Cooperation and consultation on the use of such sources is therefore inevitable and has led to the creation of a Joint Permanent Technical Committee of riparian states to oversee the utilization of such resources. Botswana has also established bilateral agreements with South Africa and Namibia, and a trilateral agreement with Angola and Namibia. The main objectives of these agreements are to safeguard shared water resources.

Water issues are becoming topical in the Southern African sub-continent, particularly in the context of wetland ecosystems, which are among the most biologically productive in the world, but are disappearing globally at an alarming rate. The Okavango Delta wetland is particularly significant as one of the remaining inland wetland ecosystems in the world. While it is unknown how many rare or threatened species of flora and fauna exist in the Delta, the wetland ecosystem as a whole is a critically endangered environment of international significance.

At the Government of Botswana's invitation, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) evaluated the proposed project and found it ill-conceived and detrimental to the ecosystem and to the communities of the Delta. The Government of Botswana did accept the recommendations of the review report, and is supporting sustainable alternatives such as the conjunctive use of ground water and surface water. These and other sustainable and economically attractive uses of the Delta, such as eco-tourism, are important in alleviating the pressures to use the resources in potentially non-renewable ways.

In September 1994, Angola, Botswana, and Namibia established a Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) to coordinate and collaborate on the sharing of the basin's water resources. The agreement establishing OKACOM specifically advocates the principles of natural resource management established in Agenda 21, and acknowledges the Helsinki Water Convention rules on the use of international waters. The riparian states have requested Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme support for a basin-wide environmental assessment (EA), and the formulation and implementation of an Integrated Management Plan (IMP) through OKACOM. It is intended that the plan promote the sustainable development of the Okavango River Basin (ORB) and protect its hydro-environmental and ecological integrity including the unique wetlands and delta system.

The Botswana government is a member of the Southern African Deelopment Community (SADC) which promotes regional integration in sustainable development. Under the auspices of SADC, the Government of Botswana inevitably cooperates and consults on the use of the shared water sources with neighbouring countries in the region. Member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) developed and signed a protocol agreement on Shared Water Course Systems in August 1995. The main objective is for SADC members to equitably share the water resources of the region, taking into consideration environmental circumstances. Inaddition to the protocol, the eight riparian countries sharing the Zambezi River Basin are in the process of preparing a Zambezi River Commission agreement.

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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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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

At a national level, a Land Development Committee supervised district planning and coordinated national land use planning. The Ministries of Agriculture and Local Government, Lands and Housing play significant roles in the implementation process. A lot has been accomplished in the area of personnel training in relevant fields, but it is still necessary to enhance the capacity of existing institutions to enable them to deal with the more complex planning and management of land resources.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Prior to independence, Botswana had established traditional ways of allocating and managing tribal land and its resources through chiefs and communities. Some of the important elements of this system were that access to land was assured for all citizens, and that the use of land and its resources should ensure availability for future generations. Soon after independence, the authority to allocate tribal land was shifted from chiefs to Tribal Land Boards which were established by an Act of Parliament, but the management of the resources remains the responsibility of the users and their communities.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

An integrated approach to planning and management of land resources started in earnest in 1975 with the implementation of the Tribal Grazing Land Policy (TGLP). To facilitate the policy's implementation, appropriate planning and management systems, such as Land Use Planning Groups (LUPAGs), later transformed into District Land Use Planning Units (DLUPUs), were established. The implementation of TGLP has run its full course, but the structures and the land use planning systems have been retained and continue to be useful in the planning and management of land resources.

Land use planning in the 1970s involved very broad zoning of tribal land for various uses, such as determining where cattle ranches could be established, areas which could be reserved as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and, due to demographic constraints, areas which would remain under communal use. This policy enabled individuals or groups to have exclusive use of land in areas zoned for such use, particularly cattle ranches. The objectives of this policy was sustainability through individual tenure of land resources (rangeland). Following the successful implementation of this policy, a number of other policies to promote integrated land use planning and natural resources management were promulgated. Some of the recent examples include:

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

The practice in Botswana is that the public is made aware of the implications of land use plans before land is zoned for various uses. This is usually done through public meetings where all developments in a district are discussed. The meetings allow for the participation by all community members including women. Further, in the land use planning process, public awareness and participation is ensured by, among others, giving land users an opportunity to select preferred land use options from a range of options determined through the evaluation of physical and economic suitability of land resources.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

The Government attaches great importance to the wide range of natural resources and features that exist throughout Botswana, especially in protected areas, such as National Parks, Game Reserves, Forest Reserves, and designated Wildlife Management Areas. Many people depend directly on these lands for their livelihoods. Some, such as the Okavango Delta and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, are valued internationally for their unique features.

There are three types of land tenure in Botswana. Tribal land covers 71% of the total land area of the country (586 000 km2). It is allocated to citizens free of charge for all types of uses. State land is owned by the state and comprises 23% of the total area of Botswana. Most of this land is used as National Parks, or Forest and Game Reserves within which no settlements are permitted. However, a small percentage of this land is allocated for residential purposes, particularly in urban centres. Freehold land comprises only 6% of the total area and is privately owned. Most government policies to date have been directed at tribal land.

Challenges  

The Botswana's environment is largely semi-arid and therefore offers a limited natural resource base. This base has undergone some development pressures and degradation processes have given rise to concerns about the ability of these resources to sustain the needs of future generations. The impacts of these development pressures are recognized through the depletion of resources; land erosion/degradation; urban and rural pollution; and rangeland degradation.

There are a number of constraints to rational resource utilization. The first is structural, including rapid population growth and poverty. The second relates to research, particularly the absence of data on resource stocks, how they are used and by whom. Third, inadequate enforcement of legal provisions on the use of natural resources has lead to their unsustainable use.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

During the early stages of the TGLP, the government realized that land resources data and information for planning and management decisions were deficient. This prompted a number of initiatives particularly by the Ministry of Agriculture to map soils, conduct an inventory on forest and range resources, and to develop land evaluation methodologies.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

See under Cooperation

Cooperation

The Government of Botswana has financed a majority of activities under the programme areas mentioned above. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has assisted the Government with a Land Use Planning for Sustainable Development (LUPSAD) project. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as the executing agency for the LUPSAD project, has also assisted Botswana to develop computer based methodologies for determining land suitability. These tools are being applied in land use planning, both at the national and district levels.

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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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MOUNTAINS

No information is available

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

No information available.

 

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To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

No information is available

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Botswana, several initiatives resulting from a comprehensive solid waste project have been undertaken. A Government Department is being formed to facilitate and coordinate waste management issues countrywide, and to consolidate the initial achievements. Such a department will be involved in three general areas, namely:

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A Waste Management Strategy has been drafted and is being considered for approval by the government. In addition, a Waste Management Bill has been drafted and will be sent to Parliament for approval after internal consultations. Draft Technical Guidelines for waste disposal by landfill have been developed, discussed; and are being consolidated into a final document. Cartographic work on ground-water vulnerability maps has been completed and the maps have been printed and distributed for planning purposes.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The comprehensive solid waste project was considered to be a very ambitious project. Most of the targets have been addressed successfully, while others are near completion. The project had the following objectives:

In Botswana, the focus has been mainly on the prevention and control of water pollution through proper identification and planning of waste disposal sites. During the initial stages, starting in late 1989, the stress was on the hydro-geological aspects, especially the compilation of groundwater vulnerability maps that indicated existing ground water regimes and their sensitivity towards pollution.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

Inadequate waste management, in general, and the uncontrolled disposal of wastes, in particular, were identified as among the core problems in the sustainable protection of water resources in Botswana. This has been exacerbated by increasing waste generation due to rapid economic development, population growth, and changing life styles and consumer habits. Solid wastes include domestic or household waste, human wastes such as night soils, ashes from incinerators, septic tank sludge and sludge from sewage treatment plants, commercial and industrial waste, hazardous waste, hospital waste, street sweepings, demolition and construction debris, and excavation waste.

Without preventive measures and tight controls, high risks of water pollution of both ground water and surface water are possible. With the previous uncontrolled dumping of wastes, the deterioration of drinking water quality was unavoidable. This could have posed a severe threat to public health, and the human and the natural environment.

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

Three case studies on medical, metal, and oily wastes have been carried out and their recommendations are being studied for implementation. The University of Botswana has conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) course focusing on landfill sites which attracted participants from the Commonwealth and English speaking African countries. Finally, an International Waste Management Congress was held in Botswana in June 1995 under the theme "Waste Management - Prerequisite for Sustainable Development," which attracted some 200 participants, mostly representing local authorities. A second congress is planned for June 1997.

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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.

Hazardous Waste

No information is available

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For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

Radioactive Waste

No information is available

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