Nation continues to address desertification and land degradation issues
The country continues to address land degradation and desertification through sustainable forest management practices, according to an official.
The Deputy Minister of Ministry of Environment and tourism Hon. Bernadette Jagger at the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought which was commemorated in Rehoboth this week said Namibia has shown commitment to address desertification and land degradation through establishing Sustainable Land Management Steering Committee consisting of stakeholders from line ministries and private institutions.
The event was co-hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and UNDP.
At the event UNDP representative to Namibia, Izumi Morota-Alakija in a statement said through projects such as the Sustainable Management of Namibia’s Forested Lands (NAFOLA), the country has been able to maintain current dry forests, the ecosystem and services it provides in 13 Community Forests.
According to her, Namibia has been able to manage the community forests covering over 2.8 million hectares of forest lands through legalization of community forests, with the support from UNDP and the Global Environment Facility.
Furthermore she said the country with support from the UN system is also implementing clear policy directives on the issues.
“These include mainstreaming climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and food and livelihood security, into development planning. Awareness is also constantly raised on issues of desertification and the results thereof,” she added.
Namibia is one of the driest countries in southern Africa, and has experienced four consecutive years of below-normal rainfall, with the 2015/16 season described as one of the worst seasons in decades.
Despite these challenges, the UN strongly believes that jointly as consumers, producers, corporations, or government, desertification and drought can be tackled.
“It is indeed possible to turn land degradation into land restoration, thus realizing the lands full potential. Healthy and productive land can bring not only environmental, but also significant economic achievements,” she added.
Meanwhile, at the event the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry donated seedlings to the Rehoboth Town Council to plant in the rest of the town.