MET launches African Drought Conference

02 Jun 2016 13:30pm
WINDHOEK, 02 JUN (NAMPA) - The first African Drought Conference was launched by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) here on Wednesday.
Over 600 participants are expected to attend the event that will take place from 15 to 19 August 2016 in Windhoek under the theme ‘Enhancing resilience to drought events on the African continent’.
The key objectives of the African drought conference are to develop a strategic framework for drought management and enhancing resilience to drought events at African level; focus on regional and international attention on the issue of enhancing resilience to drought events; identify needs and shortcomings as well as good practices in the area of enhancing resilience to drought events; as well as strengthening partnerships and cooperation for enhanced drought resilience.
Principle project coordinator in the MET, Kauna Schroder said during the launch Africa is vulnerable to the impact of drought events, whose frequency and severity are set to increase with climate change.
“This vulnerability has been highlighted by the ongoing El Niño. East Africa is suffering the worst drought in 60 years and the United Nations (UN) has declared a famine in Somalia; southern Africa is also severely affected as it was declared a regional disaster in March 2016,” she noted.
The conference will include a technical session involving relevant experts and a one-and-a-half day high-level session comprising African ministers and representatives from UN agencies.
The main expected outcome of the conference is a strategic framework for enhancing resilience to drought events in Africa.
“This already has the full support of the African Union (AU). We cannot have results if we do not have all the facts together,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, MET is looking for sponsorships and collaborations with the private sector in terms of alleviating drought.
Schroder said long-term partnerships are also possible in areas such as enhancing Namibia’s early warning systems for droughts; development of pilot insurance mechanisms for drought events; achieving land degradation neutrality in the country; as well as in water and energy saving technologies among others.