Land degradation could cause political instability

03 Sep 2015 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 03 SEP (NAMPA) - Land degradation could cause political instability in Namibia, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Monique Barbut says.
Speaking on Thursday during a meeting with President Hage Geingob at State House, Barbut explained that if farmers start migrating from degraded land they will cause political instability as they will have nothing to do.
Degraded land has lost some degree of its natural productivity due to human-caused processes.
“Let us rehabilitate land before the farmers migrate and cause chaos,” she warned.
Barbut is in the country to thank Namibia for its presidency of the 11th Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD.
Namibia assumed the presidency of the UNCCD COP11 in September 2013 and its tenure will come to an end on 12 October 2015, when the country will hand over the presidency to the Republic of Turkey.
The visit is also an opportunity for measures to strengthen the implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification to be discussed.
Barbut indicated that the rehabilitation of land is good for stability.
“We need to help farmers to rehabilitate the land, instead of concentrating on negotiation of renewable energy while people are dying of hunger because of drought or land degradation,” she said, adding that 95 per cent of food eaten in the world comes from land.
Land rehabilitation in Namibia will mean prosperity for farmers, which is in line with Geingob's call for prosperity for the people of Namibia.
On his part, the Head of State said Namibia is also affected by climate change.
“We are hit by severe drought and we are about to run out of water. We also have energy problems,” he said, adding that climate change is a serious concern.
The UNCCD is a convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programmes that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.