By Tiego Mpho, Program and Policy Manager, Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa
The potential contribution of the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) to Botswana’s sustainable development aspirations was lauded by two cabinet ministers during a symposium on sustainable finance co-hosted by Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) and the UNDP on 7th April 2016. Speaking at the high level symposium which targeted CEOs, portfolio managers in the financial services sector, government, civil society and development partner executives, Minister of MEWT, Hon. Tshekedi Khama said that Botswana is “advancing sustainable development through initiatives such as the World Bank’s Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa and UNDP’s Biodiversity Financing Initiative”. For his part, Minister of Finance and Development Planning Hon. Matambo pledged to ensure that the GDSA is an integral part of the country’s latest strategic development frameworks namely: the global SDG agenda, Vision 2036 and the National Development Plan 11 (NDP 11) as well as the National Strategy on Sustainable Development (NSSD).
According to a background paper on the symposium by UNDP Technical Specialist in charge of Sustainable Development Dr Chambwera Muyeye, the symposium was an initial step towards broader engagement and development of a strategic action plan and programme of work on Sustainable Finance. It anticipates that, in time, other sessions would follow and serve as a platform for broader dialogue among actors in the finance sector and related stakeholders. Moreover, the paper stated that the symposia will also serve to identify entry points and initiatives that jointly address private sector and government agendas for win-win outcomes across commercial, social and environmental interests.