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Ministry to launch national strategy

The Ministry of  Environment, Wildlife and Tourism will launch a National Strategy for Sustainable Development towards the end of the year.

Department of Environmental Affairs director, Mrs Portia Segomelo said a concept brief regarding the approach to sustainable development which will pave way for the setting up of a Sustainable Development Plan process, is still in progress and will be launched in August by the Minister.

She told BOPA that the concept note will include issues pertaining to environment, economy and social services.

Under the concept brief, she explained, issues such as poverty eradication, climate change, natural resources and eco-systems as well as the national institutional framework for sustainable development, among others, will be highlighted.

Ms Segomelo noted that her ministry was tasked with leading the government in  coming up with a National Strategy for Sustainable Development or Action Plan for Sustainable Development guided by the Rio+20 outcome document- ‘The Future We Want’.

“The ministry looked at issues from the Rio+20 summit outcome document that concerned or affected Botswana to come up with the national strategy for sustainable development,” she said.

Mrs Segomelo further noted that in June 2012, the United Nations Secretariat made an arrangement that world leaders meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Rio+20 or the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

She said the purpose of the meeting was to reflect on the agreements made on Sustainable Development in 1992 during the Earth Summit and establish progress made by countries across the world in achieving Sustainable Development goals.

Further, the move was also to come up with ways that would help countries such as Botswana to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and Green Economy.

“Botswana took part in the proceedings at Rio+20, where a delegation from various government departments, parastatal, Non-Governmental  Organisations and Members of Parliament led by the then Minister of Environment Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila represented the country,” she said.

Ms Segomelo explained that during the Rio+20, world leaders called for the affirmation of political commitment to Sustainable Development, Green Economy, Institutional Framework to achieving Sustainable Development, Poverty Eradication and an action plan towards Sustainable Development.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development produced an outcome document titled ‘The future we want’ which calls for a wide range of actions which include launching a process to establish sustainable development goals; detailing how the green economy can be used as a tool to achieve sustainable development; strengthening the UN Environment Programme and establishing a new forum for sustainable development; promoting corporate sustainability reporting measures and developing a strategy for sustainable development financing.

In addition, she explained that the document called for taking steps to go beyond GDP to assess the wellbeing of a country, adopting a framework for tackling sustainable consumption and production, focusing on improving gender equality, stressing the need to engage civil society and incorporate science into policy as well as recognizing the importance of voluntary commitments on sustainable development.

She said two weeks before the Rio+20 in June last year, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama invited African leaders to Gaborone to discuss issues on Sustainable Development in Africa and what they should advocate for at Rio+20.

Some of the main issues President Khama and his peers from 10 African countries called for under the Gaborone Declaration  included issues such as poverty eradication, desertification and land degradation, climate change and sustainable energy.

The issues raised in the Gaborone Declaration and at Rio+ 20 regarding Botswana will form part of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development process.  The strategy on sustainable development is expected to address issues of a green economy, economic and social development as well as conservation of the environment for the benefit of future generations. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Tshepo Mongwa

Location : Selibe Phikwe

Event : Interview

Date : May 06 Mon,2013

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