May 26, 2015
BITRI hosted a successful Public Seminar on Monday 25th May 2015 entitled “The Latest Climate Change Projections for Southern Africa and Botswana: What they can and cannot tell us, and what this means for adapting to Climate Change explored”. When welcoming the guest speaker Professor Mark New and the participants, the BITRI Chief Executive Officer Professor Nelson Torto expressed gratitude for the presence of representation from the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) and the SADC Secretariat and said the interactive platform offered by the Seminar opens doors for future collaboration between SADC and Botswana. Various stakeholders attended and engaged in discussions around the topic.
The take home message from the presentation was that although climate change models are an invaluable tool in climate change decision making, especially adaptation, the inherent complexities of the climate system makes it almost impossible to have definite confidence in the models’ output. Consequently, only climate change projections for temperature (general increase) can be received with some confidence while there is high uncertainties with regarding to rainfall projections for the region.
In his Closing Remarks, Dr. Calvin Nhira, the Programme Coordinator for Climate Smart Agriculture at the SADC Secretariat said the key lessons for the presentation were that there is a need to address current known risks and also to do research now for long-term solutions.
Representatives from Ministry of Infrastructure Science & Technology (MIST), Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use (SASSCAL), Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA), SADC Secretariat, Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO), and Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) also attended the event.