Herunga hands over COP 11 site to UNCCD

16 Sep 2013 07:10
WINDHOEK, 16 SEP (NAMPA) – It took Namibia only five months to finalise the preparations for the 11th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP11), which kicks off here on Monday.
Minister of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga, who is also the COP president, boasted while handing over the site for the event to the UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja at the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino (WCCR) on Sunday evening that it took Namibia only five months to finalise the preparations for COP 11, while other host countries took 12 months to prepare for the event.
“Our extended team has been working hard to ensure the participants of the conference have everything they need to successfully engage in discussions on issues that are close to all our hearts - that of combating desertification, reducing poverty and ensuring global environmental sustainability,” he noted.
A massive building project at the WCCR over the past few months ensured that the venue is suitable to host the important conference and its more than 3 000 delegates.
Two state-of-the-art domes have been erected at the Windhoek Country Club at a cost of N.dollars 8 million. The hotel was transformed into a high-tech conference campus and will be closed for the public during the duration of the conference.
Other than these two domes, offices have been constructed for the COP 11 Secretariat, while meeting rooms were also built.
Also set up on the site were 100 toilets.
Telecom Namibia has made high-speed wireless internet services available to the delegates, while a business centre and media centre are also available.
An information hub, which includes a place where delegates can exchange foreign currency and even buy data packages and airtime, has been set up.
The United Nations (UN) will have its own security and police, and the site will be completely under the control of the UN.
An international TV network, IBC, will cover the entire conference.