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Blue economy policy to minimise conflict areas

2021-10-05  Staff Reporter

Blue economy policy to minimise conflict areas
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Government has committed to create a governance framework that strengthens linkages and minimises conflict between fisheries, transport, environment, mining, tourism and logistics since they all operate in

the same coastal area. The desired outcome is for the country to implement a blue economy governance and management system that sustainably maximises economic benefits from marine resources and ensures equitable marine wealth distribution to all Namibians.

This is according to Ueritjiua Kauaria, Deputy Executive Director in the fisheries ministry, who spoke on Friday during a consultative workshop in Windhoek for the development of a sustainable blue economy. 

Kauaria said to achieve the governance framework, government has established a committee which is tasked to develop Namibia’s Sustainable Blue Economy Policy. This committee is being coordinated by the fisheries ministry. 

The blue economy seeks to ensure sustainable and integrated development of the ocean economy. It is anchored on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No 14 on Life Below Water.

Although the blue economy is principally about the ocean, it also includes inland waters such as lakes and rivers. The principles of an ocean ecosystem are therefore directly applicable to smaller and inland bodies of water. In Namibia, the blue economy includes fisheries, marine mining, marine and coastal tourism as well as maritime transport and coastal

infrastructure such as ports, towns and coastal industries.

“Blue economy differs from ocean economy in that it must include the three pillars of blue economy in order to be considered blue – which are environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and social inclusion. A marine/aquatic business cannot be

considered blue economy if it does not minimise its negative impacts on the environment, does not have an inclusive ownership structure, and does not maximise the creation of jobs,” said Kauaria. 

In this regard, he invited all Namibians, either individually or as organisations in the aquatic economy, to participate in the governance framework debate through workshops taking place countrywide,

or by making written submissions to the blue economy committee’s secretariat.

“Let us participate, share ideas, and exchange views, and information on new knowledge, technologies and innovations, and recommend long-term strategies on our Blue Economy Policy,” said Kauaria. 

Speaking at the same event, Khomas Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said Namibia’s dependency on agriculture is constantly under threat by climate change. With recurring drought resulting in low productivity, she implored the exploration of adaptive mechanisms to diversify the domestic economy. 

“I am pleased to learn that while we are already reaping benefits from our aquatic resources, particularly from our ocean, we are further developing a Blue Economy Policy that seeks to ensure that we achieve environmental sustainability, and social and economic inclusivity in our developmental approach to all our aquatic resources,” she noted. 

The Khomas governor continued that aquatic resources are crucial drivers of Namibia’s economy as the majority of the country’s goods are transported by sea. Namibia also has marine diamond mining, marine tourism, fisheries, desalination and other untapped economic potentials such as tidal energy, offshore wind energy, pharmaceutical products and biotechnology. 

“It is thus imperative to ensure that the efforts of various sectors of the blue economy are harmonised to prevent conflicting activities, and to ensure maximum economic gains for the Namibian people and environmental protection for the ecosystem’s health,” McLeod-Katjirua stated. 

The consultative workshops for the development of Namibia’s sustainable blue economy are being conducted throughout the country in all regions, and are scheduled to culminate in Katima Mulilo on Wednesday, 20 October 2021. 

2021-10-05  Staff Reporter

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