--- Tsabong, 19th February 2020- The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT) through; Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and Department of National Museum and Monuments (DNMM) in partnership with United Nations Development (UNDP) through GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) and Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) project organized an event to launch of environmental projects in Tsabong on Thursday 13th February 2020.
The event targeted local communities and Government Departments in Tsabong and surrounding villages in the Kgalagadi South Sub-District. The event was aimed at launching the 5 newly approved projects supported through the National Environment Fund; the Kgalagadi Heritage Trail; the GEF Small Grants Programme Country Programme Strategy for Operational Phase 7; one newly awarded Capacity Development project supported by the GEF Small Grants Programme and lastly the launching of the Biodiversity Finance Plan through the BIOFIN project. The event was officiated by the minister of MENT; Honorable Philda Kereng as part of the 100 days agenda since being in office.
UNDP Resident Representative, Her Excellency Jacinta Barrins highlighted in her remarks during the handing over of the GEF/SGP Country Programme Strategy for Operational Phase 7 to the Hon Minister that in supporting Government priorities and actions in driving the sustainable development agenda, the CPS is a guiding document that echoes the programming direction of the SGP for a duration of 4 years (2020 to 2024). This will be delivered with the aim, “to promote and support innovative, inclusive and scalable initiatives, and foster multi stakeholder partnerships at the local level to tackle global environmental issues in priority landscapes.” She noted that the CPS was developed following a robust consultative process with both the local communities, Research and Academic Institutions (as the beneficiaries), Government and Private Sector. The RR noted that she takes pride that the CPS was developed in house by the 2 SGP committees (National Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Group) and secretariat for a period of 3 months. She highlighted that a total resources of USD 1,231,000 (Equivalent of BWP 12, 310,000) has been allocated for implementation of OP7, Of this; Government has endorsed USD731,000 and SGP global USD500,000. Furthermore, she noted that in OP7, for optimal benefits to both the environment and the people, the Programme will support projects with; Inclusion, Innovation, Impact (3Is), support the grantees to infuse the business acumen in SGP supported projects, support participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of project and promote the use of ICT.
The UNDP RR also handed over to the Hon Minister the capacity development grant at a tune of USD50,000. The two-year project has been awarded to BirdLife Botswana and will be piloted at the OP6 landscape of Makgadikgadi Wetland Area with the plans to replicate and upscale to other areas of Botswana through SGP, government and other partner’s support. Through this project, the Programme demonstrates innovation in addressing the needs of the grantees (beneficiaries) as this is not only aimed at enhancing and building the capacity of the grantees but also coupled with mentoring as well as monitoring of the SGP supported projects. This project was designed aimed at addressing the key challenges faced by some of the CBOs supported by the SGP and other partners. She noted that some of the expected outputs from the project include; development of training manuals on governance and project management and development of knowledge products to enhance visibility of the SGP.
The event was also used enhance the visibility through sensitizing the participants about the support provided by Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism departments and UNDP through GEF/SGP, BIOFIN project and Kgalagadi Ghanzi Drylands Ecosystem project. It also sought to increase visibility of the Programmes supported through MENT and DEA aimed at restoration and conservation of the environment as well and enhancing and improving livelihoods of the local communities.
Speech By The Minister Of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation And Tourism Honorable Ms Philda Kereng On The Occassion Of The Launch Of Environmental Projects