Bio-diversity: Botswana needs P90m annually  

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 17 May 2017   |   By Kabelo Adamson
Bio-diversity: Botswana needs P90m annually  

The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism has launched the national biodiversity strategy and action plan. The strategy, which was launched on Tuesday, looks into financing for biodiversity conservation and management in Botswana and policy and institutional framework supporting biodiversity conservation. The strategy sets out available financing mechanism as well as those can be used to fund the biodiversity conservation in Botswana. Though government has over the years increased funding of key biodiversity departments in nominal and real terms between the years 2006 and 2013, the ministry says its development expenditures are low and mostly destined for waste water and sanitation infrastructure. This, therefore, leaves the ministry unable to find enough funding for biodiversity efforts and through this plan it seeks to find ways through which more funding can be secured. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Jacinta Barrins said around P90 million in funding will be needed annually to finance biodiversity conservation in Botswana. The UNDP together with other organisations assisted the ministry in drafting the strategy which among others seeks to build capacity of decision makers such as legislators on the importance of conserving biodiversity for people’s livelihoods. It also aims to enhance capacity of key institutions to facilitate mainstreaming of biodiversity into policy and national development planning. But challenges such as limited funding and small pool of experts are said to be inhibiting the biodiversity conservation efforts. The absence of an overarching legislation is thought to be a challenge too.