The Environment Investment Fund (EIF) last week launched the third Sustainable Development Awards in Windhoek in cooperation with the Sustainable Development Advisory Council (SDAC). The awards are meant to recognise the importance of integrating sustainable development principles into the core of Namibian business and industry. Speaking at the launch, EIF CEO Benedict Libanda, said this year’s awards are held under the theme “Accelerating the Green Economy Transformation as we recover from Covid-19”.
“The theme represents the challenges faced by the environmental sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic and would therefore like to recognise all those that continue to be committed to the transformation of Namibia into a green economy and continuously ensuring sustainable development,” Libanda elaborated.
Officiating virtually at the launch ceremony, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta noted that “We remain cognizant about the challenges bestowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the devastating impact it has had on the Namibian economy but has simultaneously provided an opportunity for us to rethink the country’s approach to economic growth and socio-economic development.”
In her closing remarks at the launch, Hallo Angala, a member of the SDAC highlighted that “The third edition of the awards will therefore recognize institutions and individuals in all spheres that have integrated environmental, social, economic, and management aspects of sustainable development into their businesses and operations.”
Technical Support Officer from the ministry of environment, Bryn Canniffe, at the launch stated there will be nine broad categories for the third edition. The first category, he noted, is slated for the private sector to support sustainable development, consisting of three sub-categories, namely for start-ups, SMEs, as well as established companies.
Second is the community level natural resource management and utilisation research and development award to reward outstanding research pieces or innovations in the field of sustainable development, youth action for sustainable development, which focuses on youth leadership and initiatives in the area of sustainable development.
Canniffe further mentioned the fifth category as pioneering journalism in the field of sustainable development, women, and environment, sustainable schools, green financial services or institutions, and lastly thought leadership category.
The 3rd SDA ceremony is made possible through sponsorship by Agricultural Bank of Namibia, First National Bank of Namibia, Namibia Wildlife Resorts and BDO Namibia who will serve as the official auditors of the awards.
The Sustainable Development Awards were first held in 2015 and was based on a joint idea of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council and the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia. It was planned to be hosted every two years and a subsequent second edition of the awards was held in 2017. The third edition of the awards was however delayed for a number of reasons but will now be held in May 2021.