Chamber for environment launched
The Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) was launched earlier this week and this is the first time that the industry has established an umbrella body that will be working collectively with the whole industry to identify priorities and debate a way forward.
Dr Chris Brown from the Sustainable Solution Trust emphasised that it has been 15 years since the environmental sector as a whole has met to review the state of Namibia’s environment. “We do not really know what is going on in our sector because most work in isolation or within narrowly defined environmental subsets which makes it very difficult to share information,” he added.
He explained that they as a sector do not know the current status of research, and that in the past 50 years it has probably never been lower, nor do they know the states of funding to environmental organisations.
“That is why we believe that the establishment of such an umbrella organisation, to which all interested a legitimate environmental organisations can become a member is long overdue,” said Brown. In conclusion he said that they have set up a framework of the NCE and members must now bring it to life and make it change and evolve according to member’s needs.
Mark Dawe, Managing Director of B2Gold Namibia reiterated that fact that a focus on biodiversity and is need and to protect it with everything we have and therefore they at B2 Gold have donated N$1 million to the NCE as a start up. He also emphasised that the sector can not do without big business, must not shun the miners and industrialist, accusing them of environmental deconstruction. “We must embrace them in partnership, as members of the same species, seeking to make the world a better place for man and for best,” he said.
Dr Malan Lindeque, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism added that The Chamber should also assist people who are totally dependent on the land. “It is time for The Chamber to do something different and more tangible,” he said. He emphasised that they should get more value from the mining industry and get maximum economic benefits from businesses and the private sector because many private sectors are environmental conscious.
Membership for the NCE is open to both organisations and individuals and during this set up phase there is an Interim Executive Committee up until the first AGM and there are no membership fees until the first AGM where members will decide.