SASSCALSouthern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use (various nations)
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SASSCAL is a regional initiative executed through the Department of Meteorological Services (DMS) with guidance and support from the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT).
The main objective of the symposium is to provide SASSCAL supported researchers with an opportunity to present their research findings and their contribution to scientifically informed responses to policy makers, representatives of local communities and the climate change research community in Botswana.
According to a statement from the SASSCAL office, the symposium would also serve as a prelude to the main SASSCAL symposium that would be held in Lusaka in April.
The statement noted that in 2012 SASSCAL created a research portfolio made up of 88 regional projects of which 14 were implemented in Botswana.
Mutorwa expressed gratitude towards the German government which will be responsible for funding the SASSCAL activities for the next five years.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) agreed to provide financial and technical support for SASSCAL over the first four years, after which the hosting countries take ownership of the centre and become responsible for the implementation of the projects.
SASSCAL aims to strengthen trans-boundary science and technology development in the SADC region using regional and international expertise.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Zambia's Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Dr John Phiri, said for too long Africa has relied on data and information on climate change from scientists outside the continent, therefore SASSCAL would come in handy.
He added that the SASSCAL initiative will help the region to understand climate change and its impact on agriculture, land management, water resources management and biodiversity and will lead to [new] strategies from the emerging knowledge and help understand how to deal with the challenges of climate change.