BMBF commits N.dollars 160 million to SASSCAL II

21 May 2019 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 21 MAY (NAMPA) – The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) has received 10 million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for research on climate change.
The donation (N.dollars 160.7 million at the current exchange rate) will be used to conduct research under the second phase of SASSCAL’s Research and Capacity Development Portfolio, SASSCAL II.
SASSCAL is a joint initiative of Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Germany established in response to the challenges of global change, focusing mainly on food and water security, declining and threatened biodiversity, deforestation and degradation of forests and climate services.
Speaking at a media briefing here on Tuesday, BMBF Governing Board member Professor Rene Haak said current changes such as demographic change, climate change and globalisation of economic systems are enormous challenges worldwide.
“Climate change is affecting the lives of millions of people and current projections on the future developments indicate that there is an urgent need to develop concepts on how to adapt to this challenge,” he said.
Haak said the German Federal ministry will also avail 3 million euros (N.dollars 48.2 million) for capacity building by opening thematic post graduate programmes at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, starting with Integrated Water Resource Management.
He said the capacity building programme is aimed at having 250 experts on the climate change subject by 2025.
Speaking at the same event, Acting Deputy Executive Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Joseph Hailwa, acknowledged the reality of climate change and called on education institutions to support and embrace SASSCAL in capacity building.
“Climate change is real and there is evidence of it in the severe drought and floods we have recently observed and therefore, there is a need to address it,” he said.
He said the ministry will, with other partners, ensure most of the requirements of the institutions are met to ensure effective capacity building, adding that the students and officials should use this opportunity wisely as research is normally expensive.