Govt pushes Gaborone declaration

| September 17, 2015

Botswana has made strides towards implementation of the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA).

The GDSA concept was derived from the summit where countries made a commitment to implement all conventions and declarations that promoted sustainable development in Africa.

Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr Prince Maele, said at a GDSA roadshow meeting in Gaborone that since the summit, Botswana had, in partnership with Conservation International, conducted a desktop situational analysis for the implementation of the declaration in all signatories’ countries.

He said the objective was to collect baseline information where each country stood with regard to the Gaborone Declaration. He said in framing the roadwork for the implementation, the secretariat proposed five outcomes for signatories to pursue for the next four years.

He said the outcomes were based on the declaration’s strategic principles of integrating the value of natural capital into national accounting and corporate planning, building social capital and reducing poverty by transitioning agriculture, extractive industries, fisheries and other natural capital.

Mr Maele further said Botswana, with the support of UNDP, was developing a national strategy for sustainable development. He said the strategy defined broad areas of priority for the country and would also form part of the guiding documents for the National Development Plan 11 and national vision beyond 2016, currently in preparation.

Mr Maele further noted that Botswana and other signatory countries wanted to lead Africa by example in embracing the new approach to sustainable development. He said while Botswana joined the globe in pursuance of sustainable development goals, there was need to make key decisions to realign development policy, to ensure that the country’s development frameworks and delivery mechanisms were informed by principles of sustainable development.

Member of GDSA secretariet, Ms Wame Hambira, said in an interview that in terms of implementation, a lot had been achieved by the GDSA secretariat that is based in Gaborone.

She said they had contributed to the environment diagnostic, which is part of the bigger picture of the vision framework beyond 2016. Ms Hambira said the secretariat had been travelling around countries forming the GDSA to ensure that implementation was on the right track and the outcomes were followed.

The outcomes, among others, included sustainable development planning that ensured commitment to sustainability, reflected in national and subnational development plans such as green growth plans and low carbon development plans.

GDSA member countries are Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania. The countries came together on May 2012 for the Summit on Sustainability in Africa and prepare for Rio 20, of which the summit resulted in the Gaborone Declaration.

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