United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Mr Balazs Horvath, has advised the Okavango Research Institute (ORI) to form a consortium with UNDP and other regional offices and respond to the United Kingdom’s P15.1 billion (Pound 100 million) Biodiversity Landscape call.
Mr Horvath who was accompanied by Deputy UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Margunn Indreboe Alshaik, said this during a visit to ORI on June 21, 2022 where he met with research leadership and programme coordinators. He, therefore, expressed the desire for ORI to respond to the call in that it covers the Kavango Zambezi Trans frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) covering Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The call focuses on biodiversity conservation issues, reducing poverty, restoration of ecosystems and biological landscapes as well as climate change mitigation measures.
Meanwhile, Mr Horvath also reminded ORI management about the Maun Science park that the Office of the President had proposed. The discussions centred around ORI’s role in the project but the latter indicated they were aware of the project save that they need more information on what role to play.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, ORI Director, Professor Joseph Mbaiwa, gave a brief history of the origins of the institute. Professor Mbaiwa said ORI was established in 1994 with the mandated of conducting applied research to inform policy and decision-making on the Okavango Delta and adjacent drylands.
In his vote of thanks, Acting ORI Deputy Director, Professor Mike Murray-Hudson, also expressed the desire to work with UNDP on collaborative and partnership projects such as those UNDP proposed. He noted that ORI would look into and reflect on Mr Horvath’s proposal for ORI to form a consortium.