The Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) recently conducted an Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) funded 'round table discussion' at the Habitat Research and Development Centre (HRDC).
Key players in the fields of the beverage industry, food & beverages distributors and retailers, packaging producers, tourism, research & education, NGO's - involved in environmental areas, as well as representatives of the public sector from the municipalities of Windhoek and Swakopmund attended the round table. The participants resolved that collaboration amongst a wide array of stakeholders was vital in keeping Namibia the cleanest country in Africa.
They also highlighted the role that various sectors could and should play, and reported on a number of actions already implemented, as well as areas for improvement and ideas which could still be implemented.
Patricia Hoeksema, Chairperson of the RNF said that the discussion had been necessitated by a number of factors.
“Namibia is a huge country with a sparse population which in itself is not an easy starting point for successful waste management and the implementation of the 3R’s being to Reduce waste, and increase Reuse and Recycling.
The Regulations of the Environmental Management Act (EMA), which came into effect in April 2012, clearly apportion various responsibilities to stakeholders to do their part in looking after our environment, and if not adhered to, to be faced with heavy penalties.
However, the reality is that a lack of expertise and financial resources, are some of the challenges facing stakeholders, in particular smaller municipalities.
The round table discussion concluded with a number of recommendations including amongst others that the Recycle Namibia Forum would facilitate the sharing of best practice and serve as a vehicle for pooling of resources in a coordinated fashion.”