He made these remarks yesterday at the ongoing Botswana Civil Society and Faith Based Climate Justice stakeholder's workshop.Maokeng made a presentation on issues relating to Batswana and climate change. He said awareness efforts should target not only those in management positions, but also members of the community. In his presentation, he noted that the knowledge transfer should also reach churches, NGO's and individuals.
He said that they are playing a meaningful role as demonstrated by the workshops on climate change awareness and capacity building they have run since last year. Maokeng noted some of the adverse effects climate change has on agriculture, livelihoods and bio-diversity. The challenges that they encounter as NGO's in the fight against climate change include; lack of direct funding targeting climate change and adaptation for various communities.
A lecturer from the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Botswana, professor Julius Atlhopheng, had earlier said the effects of climate change can now be felt by anyone as it is evident with the winters that are unusually cold and extremely hot and long summers.
Professor Atlhopheng said that the methods for accessing costs and benefits of adaptation have their own advantages and disadvantages noting that even adaptation has uncertainties, which relate to how well it is understood and modeled.
According to Atlhopheng, scientists now fit in the issue of cost benefit analysis because they model and put in to place strategies to address the climate change. This should be viable now and in the future. In the issue of public awareness, the financial and market instruments that need to be taken into consideration include how cars are used and reducing emissions.
According to the adaptation framework of the COP 16, adaptation
involves acting in accordance with the convention; this is in line with integrating adaptation to relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions. The COP 16 is also facing challenges because developed countries now say that they are crippled financially and cannot keep the promise of helping developing nations who feel that developed countries have to be the key players because of the amount of gases they emit.
Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change. The representative from the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Balisi Gopolang, said that Africa is likely to warm during this century. This is even more severe as the reduction on the crop yields in some countries is likely to be as much as 50% by 2020.
Recent studies suggest climate change is progressing faster than predicted and economic costs may be higher.Gopolang said that the Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce emissions of developed countries by 5 percent of 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012 which is the first commitment period. Article 39 of the Kyoto protocol requires parties to have started discussion about the second commitment period in 2005, which is seven years before the first one elapsed.
The Kyoto Protocol is the legally binding instrument of the convention and it also legitimises Kyoto flexible mechanisms that contribute to its returns.The purpose of the workshop is to engage the wider civil society community in developing a joint plan of action on issues of climate change, mitigation and adaptation. This is because it has been realised that individuals cannot have as much of an impact as large groups can. Moreover, this is to empower faith communities, media, NGO's and communities.