26 November 2011
Namibia launches climate change policy
Namibia has launched its national climate change policy to guide efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change on the country's development. Ahead of the Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 17) meeting in Durban, South Africa, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah, said the policy would guide the country in formulating sector specific strategies to combat climate change.
The policy provides framework for resource mobilisation for the country to embark upon adaptation and mitigation measures.
It calls for transfer of technology, capacity building and the provision of financial resources, while promoting and enhancing synergies amongst stakeholders across sectors.
The Climate Change Policy will be translated into all local languages so as to be understood by the communities it is meant to support.
“It is therefore imperative that local languages translations are made to facilitate easy understanding by all our people. I have directed that this policy and the Regional Climate Change Information Tool Kit be translated into local languages,” the minister said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said her ministry is ready to oversee the implementation of the policy, as provision is also made under the new structure for a division responsible for climate change activities.
As a result, the position of Environmental Commissioner has been advertised, leading to the establishment of the Environmental Commission.
Nandi-Ndaitwah also launched the Namibia Second National Communication to the United National Framework on Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which the country ratified in 1995.
Namibia is obliged to submit mandatory periodic reports in the form of “national communications”, which it will submit at COP 17 in Durban, next week.
“We are one of the few developing country parties that managed to submit the second national communication report. At this stage, I am pleased to inform you that preparations for the third national communication report are at an advanced stage,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
According to the minister, both documents are manifestations of Namibia’s progress to build strong foundations to adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change in Namibia.
The policy provides a legal basis for addressing climate change and its projected impact on Namibia.
The country is among the most vulnerable to climate change, as it is one of the driest countries south of the Sahara.
Moreover, it is highly dependent on climate change sensitive sectors such as agriculture, livestock management and fishing.
Hence, climate change impact could be catastrophic to Namibians, and the country needs to be thoroughly prepared for this challenge, as well as opportunities.
- Tatenda Malan, AfricaNews reporter in Windhoek, Namibia