Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Agriculture has invested P682 million (USD54 million) in an Ecosystem-Based Adaptation and Mitigation in Botswana’s Communal Rangelands Project.
The project is aimed at combating climate change in the rangelands in endeavour to green them.
Minister of Agriculture Fidelis Molao – when launching the project on Thursday – said is co-funded with Conservation International and Green Climate Fund (CI-GCF) pumping USD44 million investments.
According to minister Molao, fighting climate change remains a priority to Government of Botswana.
The project will be executed by Conservation International (CI) as the Executing Entity in partnership with the Implementing Partner – Ministry of Agriculture and it’s an 8.5 years project, running until June 2030.
“Harsh climatic conditions have affected our rangelands. Furthermore, this is affecting livestock and crop production, the two mainstream rural economic activities practiced in Botswana, without which leave our communities’ livelihoods vulnerable to food insecurity and poverty,” said Molao.
Molao said the government’s commitment to address the impacts of climate change is expressed in the National Development Plan 11 (Volume 1 April 2017 – March 2023) where Government affirms to fulfill the country’s global commitments and obligations.
“This can be further confirmed by the fact that we do have a Climate Change Response Policy and Strategy as a country.”
He said that funding to address climate change is a challenge that government has identified.
“We are grateful to the support from Conservation International and the Green Climate Fund for partnering with the Government of Botswana to address climate change and land degradation in the selected districts of Botswana. Climate issues cut across different Ministries and this calls for policy coordination to ensure that we achieve the global commitments we have made,” he said.
Some of the major benefits of the program he said include; Sustainable Environment – through land rehabilitation, Economy and Employment – employment opportunities in the selected districts and increased agricultural contribution towards GDP through the Grass-fed Beef Cluster Strategy.
As an Accredited Entity of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Conservation International Develops and oversees aspiring projects that sustainably address both climate change mitigation adaptation impacts.
Dr Letlhogile Modisa, Chief of Party National Project Launch, said the goal of the project is to increase climate-resilient sustainable development, to shift to low-emission sustainable development pathways.
The project objectives, he said, are building governance and institution capacity for climate resilient planning and adaptive management, reducing GHG emissions and negative livelihood impacts via rangeland rehabilitation and improved livestock management and climate impact monitoring.
He said the benefits of the project include enhancement of livestock value chains by aiding improved livestock production, compliance to markets, antimicrobial resistance and animal disease control too.
Dr Modisa said it will also lead to attraction of youth to livestock farming as well as addressing the grazing conflicts as it will reduce cross border cattle rustling and conflict along the borders.
The GCF was established in 2010 as a financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). According to CI, the GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change too.
It also seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of the nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change.