22 September, 2021
For immediate release
HOTTER AND DRIER – WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR BOTSWANA’S CLIMATE
Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI)‘s latest research is projecting that Botswana’s future climate will be hotter and drier. Using the latest suit of high-resolution climate models and building upon existing research on climate projections, future climate scenarios of temperature and rainfall over Botswana’s 10 administrative districts were generated and analyzed.
The climate projections show a decrease in annual total rainfall is projected over the entire country, mainly driven by a decrease in the September to November (spring season) months and March to May (autumn) months, while the summer (December – February) months are projected to have a slight increase. These results point towards a shift to late onset and early cessation of the rainy season with potential increased intensity during the summer months. The drying is pronounced mostly over the eastern half of the country, with the Kgatleng district leading. Of note are decreases when the climate reaches the 1.5 and 2.0℃ warming Paris Agreement temperature targets, where the North-East, Kgatleng and Central districts are projected to realize more than 4% and 5% decrease in annual rainfall at the two warming levels respectively.
Temperature-wise, Botswana, being mostly semi-arid, will warm faster than the global average. Maximum temperatures are found to increase at a faster rate than mean and minimum temperatures, especially during the September to November months. At district level, the Kgalagadi and Gantsi districts are projected to warm faster than the national average, while the Central and North-East districts are projected to warm at a slightly lower rate than the national average. The unequal rate of warming starts to become pronounced when the global climate reaches the 1.5℃ warming level above preindustrial levels.
A key finding of the study shows that care needs to be taken when defining future climate. The conventional method that defines future climate by selected time periods, gives the impression that projected change will be much greater than when using the method prescribed in the 2015 Paris Agreement which can lead to costly maladaptation efforts. These findings have significant policy implications, especially when looking at rainfall dependent sectors of the economy such as agriculture and water. Potential increased stress in these sectors require government and relevant stakeholder to formulate or revise existing policies to help Batswana better adapt to the future impacts. These include efforts to increase adoption of climate smart agricultural practices and addressing potential future water security challenges as cross sectorial to avoid hurting other sectors of the economy among others.
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Cell: +267 72 955 171
10 July, 2020
For immediate release
Bsafe Digital Register Is Not BITRI Invention
Of recent BITRI has been inundated with public enquires with respect to Bsafe digital register. The general public has a perception that BSafe digital register is a BITRI invention. Whilst BITRI has been involved with the development, support and maintenance of Botswana COVID-19 movement permit system – the system provides a platform to accommodate a number of digital registers – but Bsafe is not amongst these. The association of BSafe with BITRI is unfortunate and we wish to make it absolutely clear that this Application is not a BITRI invention and the public is hereby requested to direct any enquires to BSafe owners and or the COVID-19 Task Force.
Our philosophy is that, in order to stimulate participation of ICT companies in the ICT space in Botswana, BITRI will develop core/backbone platforms (in all country’s economic sectors) and accompanying APIs to allow seamless integration with applications developed by local ICT companies in line with applicable terms and conditions. For example, the BITRI digital register(covid19.bitri.co.bw) was developed as a centralized system to allow local ICT companies to develop their own digital registers independently and integrate through APIs to leverage on BITRI core register. With this setup, data captured through various registers is visible on BITRI centralized digital register and, invariably, government becomes the natural custodian of the data/information, ensuring data security.
For more information contact: Communications
26 May, 2020
For immediate release
TRIPLE THREAT: COVID, CLIMATE IMPACTS AND ECONOMIC DOWNTURN: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND SECURITY IN BOTSWANA
Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation Climate Change Lead Researcher Professor Nnyaladzi Batisani will lead a team of researchers to explore the combined long-term impacts of COVID- 19, climatic impacts and the looming economic downturn on horticultural food security and sovereignty in Botswana. The title of the research is “Triple Threat: COVID, climate impacts and economic downturn: challenges and opportunities to food sovereignty and security in Botswana”. The research will look into issues such as how COVID-19 affected sourcing of production inputs, demand and marketing of produce as well as relationships between producers and retailers. Other questions will include the challenges before COVID- 19; were they magnified or lessened because of COVID? Is COVID-19, a chance for local producers to proof themselves? Spatial clustered farms, an opportunity for cooperative marketing? Synchronized cropping, a tool to consistent horticultural supply? The research will also look into the potential for integrating horticulture with; dairy, piggery, poultry, cattle stud breeding and meat processing because of the proximity of most horticultural projects to towns and major settlements.
The research team will collect data on farm location coordinates and size, current production by crop and cropping calendar, farm water resources, farm labour, production challenges, marketing channels and challenges as well as opportunities. Climate change and economic performance scenarios will be factored in as externalities. Data will be collected telephonically and online using farmer databases from farmers associations and extension workers across the country. Maps of horticultural production sites will be constructed from farm location coordinates.
For more information contact: Communications
30 January 2018
For immediate release
Climate trends in Botswana are said to be pointing towards more extreme climate events as the climate system warms. This is according to a Research by BITRI’s Climate Change Division in collaboration with the University of Cape Town’s African Climate Change and Development Initiative (ACDI). In a research paper submitted to a peer reviewed academic journal “Environmental Research Letters (ERL)”, the study projects a general decrease in total annual rainfall over most parts of Botswana with the northern parts of the country to realize the greatest decrease. On average, rainfall is expected to reduce by 55.1-75.9 mm, 24.7-61.7mm and 30.4-43.0mm in the northern, central to southeastern and southwestern parts of the country respectively. These reductions are significant as they could mean the difference between a good harvest and a complete crop failure as well as an increase in length of the dry season thereby leading to a shortened planting season. Rainfall events are to become shorter and more intense leading to increased potential of flash flooding as the climate system warms further. The study also indicates that temperature changes point towards increased number of hot days and decreased cold weather hence longer and more intense heat wave events.
These findings portray serious implications for Botswana’s socio-economic sectors. The agricultural sector will continue to suffer the most as climate becomes more unfavorable for farming activities. The water sector will also be put under considerable pressure due to less inflow into water reservoirs coupled with increased evaporation rates due to high temperatures. The study calls for different stakeholders to work towards adapting to the “New Normal”. It notes that concerted efforts need to be made to increase adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture practices. There is also a need to be strategic in planning for future water security, encouraging water saving measures as well as looking to promote rain water capture because potentially long drought periods are expected to increase in frequency. It is expedient that investments in climate change research also be intensified to increase the country’s knowledge base on climate change thereby promoting informed policy formulation.
The study follows a call by policy makers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide a report on the differentiated impacts of and a warming above preindustrial levels by 2018. The research looked at how climate extremes are going to change in Botswana at these respective warming levels.
For more information contact: Prof. N Batisani Cell: (+267) 71 904 463 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1st December, 2017
For immediate release
Vice President Masisi to Officially Open the 9th International Conference of the African Materials Research Society
His Honour the Vice President of the Republic of Botswana, Mr. Mokgweetsi Masisi will on 11th December, officially open the 9th International Conference of the African Materials Research Society scheduled to be held in Gaborone from 9th to 14th December 2017.
Held under the theme “Addressing Africa’s Challenges through Nanomaterials Development,” the conference will create a platform for collaboration in order to promote the focusing of research efforts on manipulating materials at the nanoscale to add value to Africa’s abundant materials/natural resources, solve Africa’s problems through materials science research by developing superior nanoscale materials as well as to create an innovative environment through a fundamental understanding of nanoscience/nanotechnology.
The Botswana AMRS2017 will draw participants from around the world and all African countries, with an anticipated attendance of approximately four hundred delegates, amongst them academics, industry power players, policymakers and students.
The conference will run parallel sessions under the topics of Materials for Health, Materials for Water, Materials for Agriculture/Environment, Materials for Energy, Materials for Mining/Construction, Nanoscience/Nanotechnology, Materials for Education/Networking and Computational Materials Science. These topics reflect both the needs of the global research community such as energy and health, as well as the needs that are specific to Africa.
The Pre-Conference is scheduled to be held from 9th to 10th December 2017, at Maranyane House, while the Main Conference will held at the Gaborone International Conference Centre from 11th to 14th December.
The Keynote Speaker, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, who in 1987 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Donald Cram and Charles J. Pedersen, following Vice President Masisi’s Official Opening Keynote Address, will present on the topic “Dynamic Materials Towards Functional Adaptive”. Other Plenary Speakers include amongst others the founding BITRI Chief Executive Officer and current Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences Governing Council, Professor Nelson Torto, and other acclaimed Scientists such as Prof Paul S. Weiss, Prof Sossina Haile, as well as Prof Tobin J. Marks and will chair various plenary discussions under different sub-themes.
The conference will feature plenary discussions, breakaway sessions, workshops and poster presentation by students. This conference will also serve as platform for BITRI to demonstrate the capabilities of the Centre for Material Science (CMS) which boasts some of the state-of -art instruments envisaged to enable BITRI to become a significant player in the international research arena in materials production and characterization.
At its heart, the AMRS series of conferences allows the scientific and research communities to build knowledge, foster relationships and promote action for further understanding and collaborations in the broad fields associated with materials science and technology.
The formation of the AMRS, has its origins in the August 2000 ‘US-Africa Materials Workshop’, held in Pretoria, South Africa. The workshop was co-organized and sponsored by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and sought to explore opportunities for collaboration between the USA and Africa with an overarching objective of developing the materials research capacity in Africa. It brought together over 70 leading scientists, industry researchers and Government representatives from the USA and 15 African countries, and they sculpted a forward-looking sustainable framework for driving materials research in Africa.
Two years later, building on this initiative, on 12 December, 2002, the African-MRS was officially launched in Dakar, Senegal. The Dakar meeting, was attended by various world experts in the different facets of materials science, engineering and research, thus becoming the 1st AMRS International Conference. Subsequent biennial International Conferences were held in South Africa (2003), Morocco (2005), Tanzania (2007), Nigeria (2009) Zimbabwe, (2011), Ethiopia (2013), Ghana (2015) and Botswana (2017).
The Conference has been organised by Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) in collaboration with African Materials Research Society (AMRS).
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