The ongoing eleventh edition of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) of the UNCCD yesterday held a Ministry of Environment (MET)'s special event themed 'Smart partnerships driving transformation in Namibian dry lands towards the future we want'.
Attended by the UNCCD country delegates, representatives of the United Nations (UN) and the GEF, among others, the mini-conference took place at the Parliament Garden in Windhoek.
The programme, MET minister Uahekua Herunga said, is a novel approach aimed at using the strengths of different ministries, institutions, academia and practitioners, in partnership to battle against land degradation.
Herunga said Namibia has always striven to be at the forefront of sustainable land management. "We ratified the UNCCD in 1997, after launching the National Programme to Combat Desertification (Napcod) three years earlier in 1994. Napcod served as Namibia’s first National Action Programme (Nap) to the UNCCD and was replaced in 2007 by the Country Pilot Partnership for Integrated Sustainable Land Management, which ran until 2012," said the minister, adding, a third generation Nap is currently under development and that Namibia was one of the earliest developing nations to implement such an action plan and thus used this experience to play a leading role in the workings of the UNCCD.
"It is quite fitting the COP11 takes place here during such a dry year. Right now, in one of our regions, Kunene, community livestock are starving due to lack of grazing pastures. We must take this opportunity to share lessons with other practitioners, actors and implementers who are here at COP11 towards good drought mitigation practices," he said.
He further emphasised on the importance of these partnerships saying; "We believe with smart partnerships, much more can be done to achieve true, sustainable land management."
All in all, a long-term action is still needed to institutionalise the programme’s activities, Herunga concluded.