Monday, June 10, 2019

Research and Data for the SDGs: are we doing enough - Public dicussion

The public is invited for a public discussion that will be held tomorrow,  11th June 2019, at the University of Botswana Conference Centre.

Research and Data  for the SDGs: are we doing enough 
Theme: Enhancing Inclusive SDGs Implementation

Deputy Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Tertiary Education, Statistician General – Statistics Botswana, Vice Chancellor – University of Botswana and CEO – Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis.

Research and data remain central to informing the implementation of the SDGs. These are equally important for the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the SDGs. The Botswana Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (RSTI) Implementation Plan (2012: page iv) emphasized investment in these as being an “economic and social necessity, and a key part of any strategy for sustainable development.” For the SDGs, cross sectoral linkages are important, and the same is accentuated in national SDGs roadmap i.e. ownership, leadership and coordination. Hence research and data need mechanisms/structures for effective implementation i.e. the RSTI Implementation Plan, 2012- “for coordination of linkages across sectors, priority setting and allocation of funds for RSTI activities, as well as guidelines for specific programmes to be adopted in the short to the long term.” Botswana has adopted a knowledge-based economy stance, and research/data are central to the country realising the benefits. The National Monitoring and Evaluation System (NMES) is a key guidance framework for analyzing the impact of interventions.
The success or failure of Vision 2036, National, Urban and District Development Plans can only be judged on the basis of timely, reliable, high quality disaggregated data that should underpin the transformative targets and indicators in the SDGs Indicator Framework. Research and Data are therefore also central to achieving Vision 2036 of transforming Botswana from middle to high income economy.

Date: 11th June 2019 Time: 5:30pm
Venue: UB Conference Centre

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

ORI's New Arrivals

Below are the latest additions to ORI Library collection.

Aquatic biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services / Shin – Ichi Nakano, Tetsukazu Yahara & Tohru  Nakashizula (ed), 333.95 AQU.

Climate change in human history: Prehistoric to the present / Benjamin Lieberman & Elizabeth Gordon, 304.25 LIE.

Fisheries: Techniques and management/ Roger Creed (ed), 639.2 FIS.

Heritage at the interface: Interpretation and identity / Glenn Hooper (ed), 302.2 HER.

Need assessment basics / Beth McGoldrick & Deborah Tobey, 658.3 TOB.

Our Uncommon Heritage: Biodiversity change, ecosystem services and human wellbeing / Charles Perrings,   577 PER.

Self-reliance in community based eco-tourism initiatives: An exploration of its value and measurement in the Sankuyo Tshwaragano Management Trust, Okavango Delta, Botswana / Ina du Toit, 338.4791.

The wicked problem of cultural heritage and conflict: Military involvement in the protection and devastation of cultural property/ Joris D. Kila, 363.6923 KIL.

Transforming the fisheries: Neoliberalism, nature, and the commons / Patrick Bresniahan, 338.3 BRE.

Monday, May 06, 2019

State of the World's Fungi

The library received the " State of the World's Fungi 2018" report as a donation from Alison & Roger  Heath. 

The report  describes the world's fungi by:

  • Definition and its diversity
  • Fungal tree of life
  • New discoveries: Species of fungi described in 2017

It also discuss the positive interactions, insights and challenges.

The report is available in the library: 

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Peter Smith University of Botswana (PSUB) Acknowledges Desert & Delta Safari’s for Funding

The Peter Smith University of Botswana (PSUB) herbarium held and event this afternoon to thank and acknowledge Desert & Delta Safari’s (DDS ), a subsidiary of Chobe Holdings for the 2019 funding  of PSUB herbarium’s project: Data Mobilization.  In 2017 DDS first pledged to co-fund PSUB’s Data Mobilization Project in partnership with Ngamiland Sustainable Land-use Management Project (SLM Ngamiland) which was a UNDP-GEF and Government of Botswana funded project.

 PSUB herbarium houses a unique collection of dried plants that were collected by the late Mr. Peter Alexander Smith from 1973 up until his untimely death in 1999. Fortunately, Pete, as he was widely known, donated his plant collection to the Maun campus of the University of Botswana (UB), then known as Harry Openheimer Okavango Research Centre (HOORC), before his demise. 

The Maun campus of UB is now the Okavango Research Institute and has since inherited Mr. P. A. Smith’s collection of reference books, maps and plant related correspondence. Altogether this collection of Pete’s life’s work represents a treasure trove of reference material on the floral component of the biodiversity of northern Botswana. 

So, it is with grateful thanks for the financial support, 

Of both DDS and SLM Ngamiland that enabled PSUB herbarium to:
  • Install the database called BRAHMS (Botanical Records And Herbarium Management System).
  • To bring BRAHMS expertise from the Namibian Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) to train staff from three Botswana herbaria in how to use and tailor the database for our needs here in Botswana
  • To facilitate the continued preparation of plant specimens from the collection for digital scanning.
To date PSUB herbarium has imported more than 2610 botanical data records of plant specimens and has made more than 1500 digital images of these specimens.

DDS released further funds to PSUB in August 2018 which are starting to be used now and will allow PSUB herbarium to migrate the data and digital images to a server which has more space allowing images to be linked to data permanently and eventually access to this will be available to anyone requesting it. This continued financial support of DDS to the Data Mobilisation Project of PSUB also facilitates the preparation of further botanical specimens for scanning and data entry. 

Desert & Delta Safaris has now created a special relationship between one of their camps: Xugana Island Lodge and PSUB herbarium. This is a most suitable choice of camp since that location was of special interest to Peter Smith when he was working for the Aquatic Weed Control Unit of the Department of Water Affairs. Pete was monitoring that area as there was a vegetation blockage on the Nqoga river, which was causing changes to the hydrology and habitat, he was interested to understand whether it would be a temporary change or would have longer term implications. That blockage has persisted and progressed.
Okavango Research Institute and PSUB herbarium are very grateful for the continued support from the private sector, specifically Desert & Delta Safaris’ Xugana Island Lodge, for their ongoing interest in, and support of, the preservation of Peter Smith’s legacy collection of floristic specimens. We are encouraged to continue our work of making this unique collection of plant data useable and available for all and for the future.

PSUB herbarium’s data Mobilisation project is currently focused on the personal collection of the late Mr. Peter Smith. This process will expand later to include specimens deposited with Pete and now form an integral part of the legacy collection at PSUB herbarium. These other specimens were collected by notable ecologists including Douglas Williamson (Lion research in the CKGR in the 1970s and early 1980s), R.C. Biggs (who was doing field work on Chief’s Island as part of his master’s study), H. Hiemstra and W.L. Astle (who were both part of a hydrological UNDP study in the 1970s).  

This unique collection of plant specimens is of paramount importance to everybody concerned about the ecology Ngamiland, and in particular, the 1000th World Heritage site: the Okavango delta, as declared in 2014.

For further information please contact: 

PSUB Herbarium Office: +267 6817250 or PSUB Herbarium: +267 6817257
Mr. Joseph Madome, PSUB Herbarium Curator:
Mrs. Frances Murray-Hudson, PSUB Data Mobilisation Project Assistant:

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Regional Centre for Mapping of Resource for Development( RCMRD) International Conference- Call for Abstracts

The objective of this Conference is to spur exchange of ideas on fast-tracking application of earth observation and geospatial technologies in development decision making.
This year's conference will be one of a kind, in that, it has been combined with the AfriGEOSS Symposium, an initiative of the African community in Group on Earth Observations framework.
The theme for this year's conference is "Earth Observation for Evidence-Based Decision Making"
Thematic Areas
·         Agriculture and Food Security
·         Weather and Climate
·         Land Use, Administration and Management

 Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
 - JOHN LUBBOCK, The Use of Life (1894)

For more info visit:

Monday, April 15, 2019

ORI Seminar Presentation

You are invited to a presentation by a team of researchers from the University of Namibia, on Tuesday 16th  April 2019.

Title of presentation:   Rice - Mahangu Project in Namibia

Time:                             0930 hrs

 Venue:                          ORI Seminar Room

Friday, April 12, 2019

Call for Papers – IFLA WLIC preconference satellite meeting

Theme  - Data intelligence in libraries: the actual and artificial perspectives

Date: 22-23 August 2019

Venue -  German National Library - Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB), Frankfurt, Germany

Library professionals need to continuously develop their data skills to enable themselves to be smarter in the use, wrangling, visualization and application of data.
Likewise, from an artificial perspective, machine agents are dependent on good quality data to be capable to infer and learn from it through a process of knowledge engineering. Libraries should leverage opportunities to implement interventions that could facilitate optimal access to reputable scientific data, thereby fostering the knowledge process by making data findable and available to information agents.
Proposals for papers on topics including but not limited to the following:
  • Collection and analysis of library operations data (facilities usage, IoT devices, building sensors)
  • Programs which provide access to big data in science projects or government databases
  • Projects that mine the long tail of scholarly data
  • Collections as data projects, such as curated heritage and special collections
  • Data literacy programs and/or data science training initiatives
  • The professional issues around data science and data librarianship
  • Infrastructure, frameworks, and applications on which data gathering, cleaning, analysis and visualization can be done
Abstracts are requested in MS-Word or PDF format by 15 April 2019 to Cory Lampert and Wouter Klapwijk All submissions will be reviewed by the Program Committee and submitters will be notified by 3 May 2019. Full papers of accepted abstracts must be submitted no later than July 15, 2019.
For the full call for papers  visit: