Herunga launches national action plans and strategies

30 Oct 2014 21:41pm
WINDHOEK, 30 OCT (NAMPA) – The Minister of Environment and Tourism launched Namibia’s three national action plans and strategies for the implementation of the Rio Conventions and its strategy as UNCCD COP 11 president on Wednesday.
The Rio Conventions relate to the three conventions which are results of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Namibia is party to these three Rio conventions, namely the United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Namibia hosted the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) of the UNCCD from 16 to 27 September 2013. Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga was elected as president of COP 11 until COP 12 in 2015.
Speaking at the launch, Herunga noted that Namibia’s decision to develop and launch these strategies at the same time is not a coincidence.
He said it symbolises Namibia’s conviction that the three Rio Conventions, with their focus on biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable land management, address inter-dependent issues that need to be implemented in a highly integrated manner.
“Through programmes such as community-based natural resource management, we have learned that it is not enough only to conserve, but we must deliver benefits to our communities from the sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services,” he noted.
The sustainable management of land is a key focus area of these strategies, and an area in which Namibia wishes to show global leadership, Herunga said.
As Namibia uses 70 per cent of its land for agriculture through rangeland farming and crop cultivation, sustainable management of this land is critical. Herunga stated that this will maintain the productivity of soils and biodiversity which are under threat from land degradation, as well as drought events and increased rainfall variability linked to climate change. It is the mandate of MET to co-ordinate the implementation and to promote the integration of environmental issues into the activities of all other sectors.
“I would like to make use of this platform to convince you that the wise management of our environment is not a constraint to national development, but rather a great opportunity for Namibia to transform itself towards a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient economy and society, in which our communities and ecosystems are thriving,” he added.