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Ministry takes stock of national biodiversity

Written by on May 28, 2024

Minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta is currently engaging in national consultations to determinie the success of Namibia’s biodiversity efforts.

Shifeta attended an event celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity at Lüderitz in the //Kharas region last Wednesday.

He said the region is blessed with both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity, but is also faced with a number of environmental challenges which may lead to the loss of biodiversity.

“This region is endowed with a lot of mineral resources which significantly contribute to national income and employment and, as a result, it is also faced with many challenges in terms of environmental issues that may lead to a loss of biodiversity,” he said.

Shifeta said the event served as a reminder of Namibians’ responsibility to “safeguard the rich tapestry of life on our planet for the future, and the need for collective action to address the ongoing loss of biodiversity”.

He said by restoring degraded ecosystems, rewilding landscapes and promoting sustainable land management practices, biodiversity could be safeguarded. “The consequences of biodiversity loss are far-reaching, affecting everything from food security and human health to economic stability and cultural heritage,” Shifeta said.

He said it is crucial that Namibians conserve and protect the country’s biodiversity as it is the basis of life itself. Biodiversity provides human beings with goods and services, such as food and medicine, and Namibia is committed to the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components, the minister said.

Namibia is also committed to contributing to the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework and its associated protocols.
The 2024 International Day for Biological Diversity was globally held under the theme ‘Be Part of the Plan’, which is a call to action for all stakeholders to stop or reverse the loss of biodiversity.

It is globally observed on 22 May every year, and provides an opportunity to foster wide support for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Lüderitz mayor Phil Balhao, whose speech was read by his deputy, Brigitte Fredericks, said the event should enrich people with knowledge and awareness of the importance of biodiversity and of taking action to live sustainable lives.

This, the mayor said, could involve engaging in activities such as sustainable agriculture and keeping be aches clean. Namibia is a party to the CBD, which is one of the three global environmental agreements adopted at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

Its objectives are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the commercial use of genetic resources and related traditional knowledge.International Day for Biological Diversity is expected to increase global efforts to address biodiversity loss in the run-up to the 16th Conference of the Parties to the CBD to be held in Colombia from 21 October to 1 November.

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