Namibians have been called on to join in appreciating the unique environment of Namibia’s coast when the Coastal Biodiversity Week Part 1 commences on Friday 5 June to 13 June under the theme: Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.
This year’s activities will take place in coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.
“Conservation and sustainable development on Namibia’s coastline should not only be ingrained in our mindsets but also result in responsible behaviour, actions and decisions when it comes to the utilisation of this sensitive part of the country,” said Rod Braby, Project Coordinator for sustainable development.
Braby emphasised that 2015 is the International Year of biodiversity for sustainable development and that Namibians should aim for a foundation of improving the quality of life of coastal communities, while maintaining the biological diversity and productivity of Namibia’s coastal ecosystems.
“We need to understand the urgency of an integrated coastal zone management system and how it will guide management actions towards addressing coastal resource use, allocation and the promotion of balance between development and conservation of coastal and marine environments,” said Braby.
Celebrated annually as two part events in June and September, the Coastal Biodiversity Week serves as an educational platform to teach learners, communities and people in institutions and organizations about our environment through raising awareness on the conservation of our coastal biodiversity (Biodiversity = the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem) and sustainable development.
A few highlights of the upcoming event will be: Launch of Project Shine, 5 June, World Environment Day will be celebrated with the launch of Project Shine which aims at litter cleaning initiatives, especially towards glass bottles and plastic bags on roads and in open spaces in Swakopmund. Non-profit organization such as sports clubs, churches, schools and disadvantaged community groups are the main participant in the stride to ensure that the coastal tourist town is litter-free.
Open Day at Aquarium, 8 June; An initiative of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Aquarium in Swakopmund will be open to schools from 10h00 to 16h00 in celebration of World Oceans Day. School learners will have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of our marine ecosystem and the significant role it plays.
Environmental Plays, Swakopmund Theatre Group, 12 June; NACOMA and Swakopmund Theatre Group calls all schools in the coastal regions to edutainment. Environmental plays will be showcased to highlight the importance of sustainable living in today’s societies. Schools are required to register to attend the event.
The remaining activities included a primary school environmental civic day, school lectures by Dr Jean-Paul Roux in Lüderitz and Dr Kurt Hussleman in Swakopmund, screening of environmental films, treasure hunts, desert tour, marine boat tour, bird watching and an open day to commemorate World Oceans Day in Luderitz.