PM calls for enhanced fight against ocean pollution

Obrein Simasiku

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has called for a unified fight against polluting of oceans and maritime piracy, as she emphasised the integral part oceans play in the Namibian economy. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said this at the 2nd United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon.

“We cannot engage on the issue of marine and aquatic resources without looking into the negative impact of pollution. Pollution in oceans should be viewed in a holistic manner. If land pollution control measures are poorly implemented, ocean pollution is inevitable. In this regard, investments should be increased to prevent and manage pollution both on land and in the ocean. The degree of the interconnectedness of the global economy demands that maritime piracy must be seen as a common problem and a threat to all of us,” said the PM.

Further adding that: “It threatens global supply chains and the tourism industry as well as the strategic role of coastal states to support landlocked economies through their ports. The international community must therefore address this issue collectively, including by supporting capacity development programmes in developing countries.”

Namibia is one of the 38 coastal states out of 55 African countries. The PM said, Namibia supports a strengthened multilateral approach to addressing the unprecedented threats facing the ocean. Hence, urging strengthened multilateralism in order to support mobilization of financial resources and address challenges such as overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.

“Equally, it is only through strong multilateralism that we will address pressing challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, diseases and pandemics, diminishing biodiversity, economic inequality and even conflicts and strife, we must act now to protect the state of our ocean,” she added.

She therefore called for concerted efforts in pushing for sustainable ocean management, investment in science, research and development, as it will help to generate data and support the development of new technologies.

“At the heart of the Namibian economy, is the ocean. We draw sustenance and anchor many of our livelihoods in the ocean economy, and therefore feel compelled to play our role in the sustainable use of marine resources. As a proud member of the High-Level Panel on Sustainable Ocean Economy, we do not only advocate for this in our local context, but extrapolate this to international settings to garner increased commitment and action-oriented support to the important focus on the Blue Ocean economy,” vowed Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

Namibia serves as an important trade link to landlocked countries as it provides access to roads, rail and transportation which eases operations and boosts the economy.

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