… As govt pledges to continue fight against climate change effects
By Hilary Mare
THE Southern Times SADC Climate Change Forum, held in Windhoek last week, was a resounding success, in terms of increasing ambitions to address climate change and providing a platform for opportunity and dialogue.
With Namibia and the SADC region increasingly in the spotlight, as it makes concrete plans to combat the effects of climate change on key economic sectors, such as environmental management and agriculture, various speakers shared good practices and success stories from their respective countries and organisations, while aiding stakeholders with possible solutions.
Addressing delegates on behalf of the Namibian government, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Frans Kapofi, who stood in for Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah, highlighted that government and the SADC region at large is taking a stand against the effects of climate change on the people, especially in advantaged communities.
“Only two weeks ago, when most of our SADC leaders took to the United Nations General Assembly, they spoke strongly about the need for word leaders to continue coming up with a sustainable measure of warding off the effects of climate change on our economies.
“Our leaders called for first world nations to continue finding ways of funding mitigating measures on climate change, while also adding that the region will continuously put the climate change challenge at the centre stage of their national development planning,” Kapofi said.
He added that this call is not new, but rather a cementing of the Paris Agreement, where world leaders pledged their commitment to averting the effects of climate change through adopting various measures.
“We do expect neither us, as smaller nations, nor the first world to waiver on this promise now, but we indeed expect rejuvenation from world leaders to combat the challenge of climate change. We believe that climate change has become everyone’s problem, affecting everyone’s future, and hence the need to put heads together and find sustainable solutions to this challenge, for the betterment of our future, and also to safeguard the livelihoods of future generations,” he added.
Namibia, to date, is one of the first countries in the SADC region to access funds from the International Climate Fund, which has been disbursed to the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF).
At the forum, EIF Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Libanda, noted that livestock production in Namibia declined by 34 percent, because of climate change effects, including drought, before adding that the EIF needs US$10 million annually to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Substantially, an adaptation specialist in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Uazamo Kaura, said, “In Namibia, only 1 percent of rainfall reaches underground water resources; the rest evaporates. Namibia already has a climate change program, but maybe there is a need for more to be done, when it comes to adaptation.”
In the case of Namibia, financing remains one of the major curtailing factors to combating drought and floods, which are a direct result of climate change, the delegates heard.
NamZim General Manager and event host, Gwen Snyders, told Confidente that it was anticipated that the event would become an annual one, and that there is every reason to expect more next year.
“We would like to share our heartfelt appreciation to all our sponsors, for their support. There is no amount of thank you that can describe how we feel. Already, we are getting interest, in terms of making this event an annual thing, and we can only oblige. I would also want to thank the tireless team I worked with, in making this a resounding success. We can only expect more,” she said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015