The Botswana government and her Japanese counterpart are working on a launch for the project to enhance national forest monitoring system for the promotion of sustainable natural resource management in the country.
The government, through the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism and the government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation agency (JICA) are collaborating in the project for enhancing national forest monitoring system in Botswana in an effort to promote sustainable natural resources management. The programme came about after examining all the challenges related to the forestry sector in Botswana and a decision was made to start with a project that would not only develop capacity, but also lay the foundation for future collaboration on other areas afflicting the sector.
The overall goal of the project is to ensure that sustainable forest management in the country is promoted by sharing and utilising information obtained through national forest monitoring among relevant stakeholders including government agencies and local communities. The purpose of the project is to accurately update the state of the forest through regular monitoring utilising the national forest monitoring system. This project will be achieved through the four projects outputs which are 1) a nationwide forest distribution map, 2) a methodology for the national forest inventory, 3) a forest geographic information system (GIS) database, 4) a national forest monitoring plan.
This project was approved in 2012 and implementation started in July 2013 with completion date of July 2016. Currently the project is on its second year. The collaboration encompasses strengthening of the forestry subsector through capacity building in the field of forest and range resources management. The project will ensure that the state of the forest in the country is accurately updated through regular monitoring utilising the national forest monitoring system developed.
The information generated from the exercise will be used for addressing many pressing issues that for a long time have been a pain to the sector. The strengthening of the capacity of the Department of Forestry and Range Resources will provide leverage to make informed decisions relating to among others; tactical and strategic planning, policy decisions, global forest resource assessment needs, conservation of biological diversity, convention of international trade in endangered species(CITES), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC)/ Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation(REDD), plus obligations and Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).
Information generated through this project will be shared and utilised by all stakeholders including government agencies, community based organisations (CBOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and other interested parties to promote conservation and sustainable management of foreign resources. The system will improve the availability of reliable, timely and location specific forest and range resources information that is crucial for proper planning and decision making in their own localities.