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Botswana: China Pledges Meteorological Satellite System

Gaborone — Climate change and its adverse effects have to be addressed actively through strengthened international cooperation, says Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Ms Philda Kereng.

Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Botswana and China recently, the minister said it was on the basis of such cooperation that the two countries were signing the agreement.

The MoU paved the way for the donation of a Multi-Satellite Integrated Metrological Satellite Data Mobile Receiving System, she said.

Ms Kereng said the purpose of the MoU was to establish a framework to enable parties to work together in addressing climate change.

The minister expressed gratitude for the long standing relationship between Botswana and China which she said was growing from strength to strength as evidenced by the signing of the MoU.

She said Botswana welcomed the “One Belt and One Road South-South Cooperation Plan on Climate Change” proposed by China at the second international summit on the subject.

Minister Kereng mentioned that a Botswana delegation underwent space technical training offered by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) in 2015.

The training, coupled with a visit to CAST headquarters, resulted in the two parties deciding to have deeper cooperation in the satellite application field, she said.

Minister Kereng said CAST pledged to build and donate to Botswana a “Multi-Satellite Integration Meteorological Transportable Ground Application System” (TGAS)with satellite tracking, data acquisition, imaging and processing capability.

She said the TGAS software aimed to generate value-added, high level products oriented to a certain application area such as dynamic resource map, environment and disaster theme image as well as other large frame mosaic images.

Additionally, it provided channels for receiving remote sensing data, implemented data management functions, image and application processing as well as products generating, she said.

Ms Kereng said the system was expected to produce reports within a short time and could be easily relocated to any place requiring investigation making it very flexible, effective and efficient.

She said the equipment was expected to benefit the country in areas of meteorology, environment, agriculture, remote sensing, geographical information system as well as climate information and mitigation.

Minister Kereng noted that CAST had also offered different Botswana technical experts over 21 training slots which went a long way in helping the country achieve its digitalization and improved service delivery objectives.

For his part, Chinese ambassador Dr Zhao Yanbo said Botswana was experiencing significant impact of climate change including insufficient and irregular rainfall, extreme weather and ecological events such as the recent elephant deaths.

Dr Zhao said Botswana, like China, attached great importance to addressing climate change.

The ambassador said the pledged equipment would help Botswana improve its ability to address climate change, monitor extreme weather and implement energy saving.

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