MAWF to host Wildfire conference

29 Jul 2013 11:00

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) will host a two-day National Wildfire Conference from tomorrow.
The aim of the conference is to bring together stake-holders, public and private sectors to deliberate on ways and means of limiting the occurrence and mitigating the effects of wildfires in Namibia.
Wildfires are a common occurrence in Namibia and it is estimated that between five to seven million hectares of grazing is destroyed by uncontrolled wild fires.
Furthermore, wildfires contribute to loss of habitat, reduction in woodland bio-diversity and losses of wood resources for domestic use.
With Namibia’s already growing drought concerns, this issue has forced President Pohamba to introduce a grazing subsidy after declaring that the Government would no longer be able to buy fodder for the country’s approximately three million head of livestock.
The theme of the conference will be Mitigating the effect of Wildfires in Namibia.
John Mutorwa, the MAWF will officially open the event.
The minister foresaw the risk that has already escalated into a national emergency and urged the nation to take the necessary steps to prevent fires and refrain from irresponsible acts that could result in the destruction of already scarce pasture.
There will be several topics on discussion including fire management in national parks, conservancies at farm level, and a proposed forest fire policy.
There will also be a planning session with affected key parties.