WINDHOEK – Government is keen to develop the country’s blue economy in an ecologically sustainable manner that avoids over-exploitation or damage to the ecosystem, as well as in an economically inclusive manner that ensures no Namibian is left behind. This was the sentiment expressed by Acting Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Albert Kawana, in a speech read on his behalf by the executive director in the ministry, Dr Moses Maurihungirire.
During the two-day high-level experts policy dialogue on Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability in Windhoek this week, Kawana noted that Namibia has an active Inter-Ministerial Blue Economy Committee that is supported by an Inter-Ministerial Technical Blue Economy.
“This committee is currently finalising the development of Namibia’s Blue Economy Policy, which will be central in catalysing development of these important economic sectors in line with Namibia’s National Development Plan (NDP5),” said Kawana.
Namibia’s blue economy, which includes fisheries, marine mining, maritime transport and marine and coastal tourism, accounts for about 28.8 percent of the country’s GDP.
Kawana pointed out that Namibia is also home to several regional and international organisations working on blue economy matters, which include the Benguela Current Commission (BCC) and the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO).
Said Kawana: “Namibia is therefore committed to continue playing a key role in encouraging an integrated and sustainable blue economy development across Africa and the world.”
This week’s dialogue focused on current threats to the blue economy arising from climate change, and environmental issues and challenges which pose serious risks to the viability, sustainability and economic value of the ocean economy.
According to Kawana, this includes a review of some of the measures that could enable coastal countries to cope effectively, creatively and sustainably with environmental changes as well mitigating impacts and threats to marine ecosystems and coastal resources, such as resilience building, climate financing, capacity building and collaboration.
Kawana was particularly pleased that the dialogue discussed mainstreaming of climate change and environmental sustainability dimensions into existing policies and integration of climate change impacts into national investment planning. These issues, he said, are important to many coastal states in SADC and Africa in general, and he urged participants to come up with tangible policy options to address these challenges.
This week’s dialogue was organised by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) under the theme, ‘The Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability in Africa’.
2019-11-21 07:33:42 | 2 months ago