WINDHOEK – Namibia has committed to invest close to N$75 million towards ocean research and protection during the 2019/2020 financial year, President Hage Geingob revealed following his participation at the just-concluded United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.
Geingob made the announcement as he shared Namibia’s commitments during a call for ocean-based climate action at the UN General Assembly.
According to Geingob, the N$75 million includes an amount of N$34.5 million to facilitate research on oceans, especially on fisheries stocks and marine ecosystem, and a further N$40.5 million to intensify the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing as well as improve ocean governance. IUU fishing remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems due to its potent ability to undermine national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably as well as endeavours to conserve marine biodiversity.
IUU fishing takes advantage of corrupt administrations and exploits weak management regimes, in particular those of developing countries lacking the capacity and resources for effective monitoring, control and surveillance.
IUU fishing is found in all types and dimensions of fisheries; it occurs both on the high seas and in areas within national jurisdiction, it concerns all aspects and stages of the capture and utilisation of fish, and it may sometimes be associated with organised crime.
Namibia also committed to ensuring that at least 10 percent of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EPZ) is marked as a marine protected area by next year. Currently, Namibia’s entire coastal belt is gazetted as national parks and includes three coastal Ramsar sites; namely the Walvis Bay lagoon, Sandwich harbour and the Orange River mouth, which are protected.
In addition, Geingob said Namibia’s marine waters, less than 200 metres deep, are protected from most commercial fishing activities as they are breeding grounds for fish.
Furthermore, Namibia is one of the countries with potential for wind power generation globally, especially around the coastal town of Lüderitz. In this regard, Namibia is committed to generating approximately 144MW additional wind power by 2022. He added that Namibia is in the final stages of the ratification of Annex 6 of the Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which includes 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses emissions from ships by 2050, in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Agreement. Geingob noted Namibia is committed to increasing national per capita fish consumption to the global average of 20.4 kg by 2020. “We have already increased per capita national fish consumption from 4 kg in 2014 to current 15.4 kg in 2018. All regions in Namibia have access to affordable fish,” he stated.
In addition, he said Namibia, Angola and South Africa, together with development partners, have committed about N$57 million for maritime research activities under the Benguela Current Convention (BCC) for the 2019/2020 financial year.
On climate action, Geingob emphasised Namibia’s commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
He said the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) should guide the commitment to tackling the global environmental challenges.
Address inequality, poverty
Meanwhile, Geingob also used the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to call for effective multilateralism and ambitious global leadership to deal with the challenges of climate change, inequality and poverty.
The 74th UNGA convened under the theme: “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion”. “We therefore cannot afford to leave out the majority of the world’s population in our pursuit of prosperity. Without the full involvement of women and youth, we miss an opportunity to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,” he noted.
Geingob as part of a national investment drive implored business leaders at an Invest in Namibia event to invest in the country in light of ambitious reforms and a favourable investment climate. Geingob informed investors that Namibia is a competitive economy and a gateway into Southern Africa with linkages providing the rest of the region via the world-class port of Walvis Bay access to international markets.
“Namibia is part of economic corridors and through the provision of dry-port facilities, previously landlocked countries, including Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been turned into sea-linked countries, bolstering their capacities to participate in international trade,” Geingob noted.
2019-10-02 07:14:50 13 days ago