17 Sep 2016 10:30am
WINDHOEK, 17 SEP (NAMPA) The National Assembly (NA) on Thursday ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, expressing concern over deforestation and the use of plastic bags in Namibia.
The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 during the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and acts as a bridge between existing policies and climate neutrality to strengthen societys ability to deal with the impacts of climate change.
Members of Parliament (MPs) supported the motion to ratify the agreement, which was introduced in the NA on Wednesday, noting the use of plastic bags and deforestation as areas of concern.
Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said during discussions to ratify the agreement, that it should be an instrument creating awareness to nations that are developing or developed.
She added that as a country where deforestation is taking place, Namibians should be made aware that they need to start a process of afforestation and plant more trees.
Attorney-General (AG) Sacky Shanghala said the agreement is a milestone for a country like Namibia that relies on the climate for agriculture and farming. Therefore, Namibia should be first in implementing this instrument.
He added that instead of for example using plastic material, industries now have to be challenged with coming up with a similar material as part of their contribution to combating climate change.
Last year, the Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that it would hold dialogues at both community and national level to discuss requirements that could evolve into legislation on the ban of plastic bags. However, the ministry has not given feedback on the outcome of the consultations.
Banning the use of plastic bags has health and environmental benefits, including reduced waste at landfill sites and a visibly clean landscape in the country.
The NA adjourned its session until next week Wednesday.