Botswana is a semi-arid country with shrub-land, savannah and open woodlands covering about 60% of the surface area. The main forested areas are in the North and North-eastern parts of the country. The Government has sovereignty over resources from forests, vested through legislation, and most of the forest reserves are on state land. The majority of woodland is on tribal land and provides a source of energy and building materials to many people in the rural areas, but also forms an important carbon sink. It is estimated that wood accounts for about 53% of domestic energy consumption. Deforestation and land degradation occur in the surroundings of major population centres in Botswana.
The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the forestry sector in Botswana. Botswana’s forestry sector is regulated by the revised Forestry Act and a National Forest Policy, which aims to protect, conserve, develop and provide for sustainable utilization of forest land and forest resources for social, economic, ecological and environmental benefits of Botswana. Further, its objective is to strengthen the role of forest resources and forestland in enhancing environmental functions including soil and water conservation, carbon sinks, biodiversity and other services.
Botswana is currently in the process of developing a framework to enable the implementation of potential REDD projects.