Namibia advances combat against environmental challenges

Niël Terblanché

Namibia is making substantial strides in sustainable development through the implementation of the Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance to Eradicate Poverty (NILALEG) project.

This initiative was the focus of the National Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) Conference where the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta and Alka Bhatia, UNDP Resident Representative to Namibia addressed participants.

Shifeta stressed the severe impact of environmental degradation on Namibia, affecting 70% of the population reliant on natural resources.

He said that the NILALEG project, funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and implemented by the UNDP, aims to address these challenges through integrated landscape management.

Shifeta also stressed the importance of restoring degraded lands to enhance drought resilience, a crucial aspect given Namibia’s vulnerability to climate change and drought.

He lauded the conference for fostering dialogue among diverse experts to derive meaningful solutions to environmental challenges.

“This approach balances conservation, agricultural practices, and sustainable development, with a strong emphasis on public-private partnerships (PPPs),” he added.

Bhatia pointed to the project’s success in promoting sustainable practices, such as the harvesting of Devil’s Claw and added that it has improved livelihoods and conserved natural resources.

She also noted the use of innovative digital tools like geospatial technologies and drones to monitor landscapes and inform adaptive management decisions.

Bhatia said that The ILM Conference serves as a demonstration of Namibia’s dedication to environmental governance and sustainable development, aiming to ensure that natural resources continue to support both present and future generations.

Both speakers acknowledged the critical role of partnerships, knowledge sharing, and the integration of scientific and indigenous knowledge in advancing sustainable land management.

They said the NILALEG project exemplifies Namibia’s commitment to creating resilient communities and sustainable ecosystems.

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