25 Jul 2013 08:10
WINDHOEK, 26 JUL (NAMPA) Namibia is ready to host the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) slated here for September 2013, the Environmental Commissioner has said.
Teofilus Nghitila gave the re-assurance during a one-day training workshop which was aimed to build capacity among local journalists here on Wednesday.
Namibia is ready to host COP 11 and a national committee is working around the clock to make sure that the event is a great success, he said.
Nghitila said he is confident that the committee will address any issues and challenges, if any, before the event set for 16 to 27 September 2013.
At the same occasion, Project Manager at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Kauna Schroder noted that the organising team prides itself in hosting such an event.
It is the first time that such a conference is taking place in southern Africa.
Between 2 000 and 3 000 delegates from 195 country parties of the UNCCD, UN organisations, inter-governmental and civil society organisations will come together to debate and arrive at solutions towards improving the living conditions of people in drylands; maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity; as well as mitigating the effects of drought.
These are critical issues for Namibia, especially bearing in mind the current drought situation facing the country.
On Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah on behalf of Namibia, and the UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja will sign the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for COP 11.
COP 11 will be convened under the theme A stronger UNCCD for a Land-Degradation Neutral World.
The conference will build upon the results of the second and third UNCCD scientific conferences, and review the progress after the completion of the first half of the 10-year strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018). The event will also reflect the UNCCD vision of a way forward after the Rio+20 outcomes on land degradation, desertification and drought.