Namibia lost nearly 20 percent of its forest area during the past 30 years, through wildfires, bush clearance of land for food production, security and illegal harvesting activities.
The National Council Chairperson has warned that the country will lose more of its forest resources if it does not apply sustainable use its natural resources.
Lukas Sinimbo Muha said this during the pubic parliamentary engagement on tackling climate change in Namibia at Safari Hotel.
The engagement is aimed at strengthening the Namibian government’s work in addressing the unsustainable use of timber resources and uncontrolled deforestation.
Muha said that the predicted increases in temperatures and evaporation as well as increased
variability of rainfall, will most probably exacerbate the existing development challenges, which include inequality, poverty, and land degradation. “This threatens to undermine progress towards sustainable development,” says Muha.
The attendees were urged to come up with ideas on how improve climate change adaptation awareness campaigns that strive to incorporate human rights, gender equality, biodiversity, and habitat conservation in projects.
The event is part of the European Union funded project, titled Promoting Sustainable Forest
Management in the Kavango-Zambezi-Region in Namibia, in collaboration with the Hans Seidel
Foundation, Desert Research Foundation of Namibia and the Parliament of the Republic of Namibia.
The project actively facilitates multi-stakeholder dialogue about Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) practices to improve its implementation in the Kavango and Zambezi regions respectively.
Peter Kazongominja, a member of parliament, asked for assistance at the indaba from the development partners to help spread the message to rural communities so that they can also get involved in nature conservation.
Micky Lukeazi from the Zambezi Region informed the meeting that citizens from neighbouring countries are illegally entering Namibian territory to harvest timber and other vegetation. Lukeazi also noted that the cut lines must be revived to protect Namibian forests as well as to curb wild fires.
He called for the funds to be made available, in order to capacitate the local communities to manage their conservancies and to take better care of their natural resources.
The vice-chairperson of the National Council Victoria Mbawo Kauma stated that engagement, consultation, information sharing and open dialogue on matters impacting the daily lives of Namibians is important for Parliament.
“We have certainly gained additional knowledge on how to strengthen our development goals and to do our part to improve the livelihoods of all Namibians,” Kauma said, adding that everyone must become more ecologically mindful to care of Namibia’s diverse natural wealth.