Nearly 20% of forestry lost in the last 30 years – Official
Nearly 20% of the country’s forest area has been lost in the past 30 years as a result of unsustainable use of resources, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), Pohamba Shifeta said this week.
To this end, Namibia is strongly pondering introducing a provision in its law that will compel everyone who harvests vegetation to plant more, he said at the ‘The future of Namibia’s forests – Sustainable forest management as key to unlocking its potential’ national conference.
“With only 8 years remaining to reach our 2030 target as set out in the revised ‘Nationally Determined Contribution’, Namibia is taking concrete actions to reduce the impacts of climate change. This noble endeavor cannot be left to the government alone and I, therefore, implore all stakeholders to join us in meeting this target,” he added.
Shifeta said forests do not only play a major role in mitigating climate change in Southern Africa, and the rest of the developing world, but most people depend on forest products for their livelihoods.
“We must, therefore, take urgent actions to reverse the rate at which deforestation is taking place and aggressively embark on reforestation and afforestation programs,” he added.
According to Shifeta, the MEFT through the Directorate of Forestry is carrying out research on how to propagate native tree species to make tree seedlings available for the community members to plant these species.
“The ministry has been implementing the Community Based Natural Resources Management Program in forest management, which saw 43 Community Forests established across Namibia,” he said.
Shifeta meanwhile said Namibia remains committed to reversing this concerning trend by reducing deforestation and promoting tree planting.