Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Centre for Development Innovation - Short courses 2016

The Centre for Development Innovation offers over 35 courses in the fields of:
 
  • Food & Nutrition Security
  • Sustainable Markets
  • Adaptive Agriculture
  • Ecosystem Governance
  • Conflict, Disaster & Reconstruction
  • Innovation & Change

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

2016 GEF ECW for the Southern Africa Constituency

Expanded constituency workshops (ECW) aim to keep Global Environment Facility (GEF) national focal points, convention focal points and other key stakeholders, including civil society, abreast of GEF strategies, policies and procedures and to encourage coordination. They provide an opportunity for focal points to meet with their counterparts from other countries in the region and GEF partners to review policies and procedures and share lessons and experiences from the development and implementation of GEF projects and their integration into national policy frameworks. 

Dates: 16-19 February 2016     
Location: Gaborone, South-East, Botswana   
Contact: GEF Secretariat  
Phone: +1 (202) 473-0508  
Fax: +1 (202) 522-3240/3245  

Monday, February 08, 2016

2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress meets every four years to bring together leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and indigenous and grass-roots organizations to discuss and decide on solutions to environment and development challenges worldwide. The event will hold a public forum consisting of debates, workshops, dialogues, round-table discussions, training courses, music and exhibitions, as well as a Members' Assembly that will deliberate on IUCN resolutions and recommendations regarding key conservation issues. 

Dates: 1-10 September 2016  
Location: Honolulu, HI, US  
Contact: IUCN    
Phone: +41-22-999-0368  
Fax: +41-22-999-0002  
  
For more Information visit: http://www.iucnworldconservationcongress.org/

Friday, February 05, 2016

Sexual Transmission Is Just the Latest Zika Surprise

Information about the Zika virus now “spreading explosively" through the Americas seems to be changing every day and little of it is comforting.
Researchers reported that a Dallas resident contracted the virus during sex, rather than from a mosquito bite, raising new questions about the virus, which has been carefully followed for only a few years.
“This virus is very frightening,” said Didier Musso, who studied a 2013-2014 outbreak of Zika on the French Polynesian islands.
Many details about the virus remain mysterious, including its evolution, the likelihood of sexual transmission, and whether this risk will complicate the fight against it.
“It’s a very new disease. It would be possible to answer all the questions in 10 years, but not today,” said Musso, director of the emerging infectious disease unit at the Institut Louis Malardé in Tahiti, which is in French Polynesia.
Though Zika was first discovered in 1947 in Uganda, only 14 human cases have been described in Africa and in Southeast Asia, where it apparently also spread to travelers.

Read more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/02/160203-zika-sexual-transmission-virus-science/

Thursday, February 04, 2016

ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR SCHOLARSHIP – JATROPHA RESEARCH PROJECT



The Jatropha Research Project scholarship is part of a collaborative project between the Government of Botswana and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This project is investigating the potential for the cultivation and use of Jatropha oil as a sustainable energy source in Botswana. The scholarship will cover tuition, costs of field research including equipment, and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses including accommodation.

1.    MPhil/PhD in Natural Resources Management
TOPIC: Life Cycle Analysis of Jatropha Biofuel Production in Botswana offered at the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute (ORI) and the department of Environmental Science.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time MPhil (2 years) scholarship offered by the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute (ORI). ORI is a dynamic academic research institute whose mission is to undertake engaged research and training on wetland eco-systems. Its research agenda is guided by the following strategic goals: (i) To develop Research competencies in the ORI focus areas, (ii) To create an enabling environment for high quality research and training, (iii) To conduct engaged research that responds to problems facing society and (iv)To ensure financial sustainability for the Institute.
Graduate students contribute significantly to the ORI research agenda through scholarships built into a number of research projects and programmes. 

Requirements
To be admitted into the Mphil/PhD Programme applicants must have completed a major/minor, combined major/major, or single major degree programme in Environmental Science or a cognate discipline (e.g. geography, Natural resources management, Wildlife management, Forestry, etc) at the University of Botswana or an equivalent institution. Applicants must also have obtained at least a second class (overall A or B average; GPA of 3.5 on 5 point scale). Candidates whose degrees are not single major must have attained an upper second grade in the portion of Degree that is relevant to intended field of study. Candidates should have done a research project at undergraduate or higher level.  Knowledge of Life Cycle Analysis techniques will be an added advantage, as will proficiency in the use of spreadsheet programmes such as MS Excel or LibreOffice Calc, and openLCA.

 Research Area/Topic
The successful candidate will conduct an in-depth life cycle analysis (LCA) of the production of biodiesel fuel from Jatropha Accessions cultivated in Botswana. The candidate should have a strong background in Environmental Science, Engineering and quantitative (mathematical) techniques. The successful candidate will be a strong team player, capable of independent work, in particular extensive field work under demanding conditions, and will have the staying power to see the research through to its conclusion. 

The programme is fully funded by the scholarship for the duration of the study. Funding eligibility is limited to locals only.

To apply, please submit application letter, CV with contact numbers for yourself and two referees, and academic transcript by 10th February 2016 to:

Prof B. Moseki, Private Bag 00704, Gaborone, Botswana. Block 233; Room 131
Or by e-mail to: mosekib@mopipi.ub.bw.
Tel: 355 2472 or 72578793/73470876

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Southern Africa Growing Season 2015-2016: Heading for a Record Drought?








Highlights
The current growing season (October 2015 – April 2016) in Southern Africa is developing under the peak phase of El Nino that is about to become the strongest on the record.

• The first phase of the growing season is characterized by severe and widespread rainfall deficits. Across vast areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, this has been the driest October-December since at least 1981.

• Hence widespread delays in the start of the season, especially in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are observed. Vegetation cover is also particularly affected given the cumulative effects of the previous season’s poor rainfall.

• Seasonal forecasts for the next stages of the growing season remain very pessimistic, raising the possibility of extensive crop failures despite some recent improvements in rainfall.

• The region is ill prepared for a shock of this magnitude, particularly since the last growing season was also affected by drought. This means depleted regional stocks, high food prices and substantially increased numbers of food insecure people.

• Major concerns are now Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Malawi but other countries are also being affected




Read report on: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/wfp281063.pdf

Friday, January 22, 2016

Water use practices, water quality, and households’ diarrheal encounters in communities along the Boro-Thamalakane-Boteti river system, Northern Botswana

By G. Tubatsi, M. C. Bonyongo and M. Gondwe

Background

Diarrhea remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide [13] despite improved health technologies, management, and increased use of oral rehydration therapy [4, 5]. Worldwide, about two billion cases of diarrheal diseases are registered annually, out of which 1.9 million children under the age of 5 die particularly in developing countries. Diarrheal diseases display distinct geographical variation and seasonality [58] due to varying occurrence of their etiological agents in the environment [9]. Several authors [1013] attributed the burden of diarrheal diseases to the environment and associated risk factors, particularly unsafe drinking water from open water sources, poor sanitation, and poor hygiene. While causes of diarrheal diseases are multi factorial, the use of untreated water harboring diarrheal pathogens [10] remains a significant contributor to most outbreaks [11, 12].