• May 27th, 2019
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Namibia shares chievement on biodiversity conservation

Absalom Shigwedha

SHARM EL-SHEIKH – Governments, rural communities, conservation and tourism organisations in the Southern African region have embraced trans-boundary  conservation approach as this contribute towards improved or new opportunities for  income generating projects for local communities.

This was said by Marthin Kasaona, the Chief Conservation Scientist in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) on Sunday at an event on transfrontier conservation areas in Southern Africa, held on the sidelines of the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), currently being held in the Egyptian coastal resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh. 

Kasaona, who is Namibia’s head of delegation to the conference, said this conservation approach in return contributes toward improved livelihoods of locals and reduce poverty. 

“The other benefit of transfrontier conservation areas is that through co-management of natural resources, collaboration between governments and local communities has improved due to common goals of co-management of cross-border natural resources,” said Kasaona. 

He said through the transfrontier conservation areas, the southern Africa countries are contributing significantly towards the CBD’s three objectives, namely: the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. This in return contribute towards overall Convention’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Aichi Biodiversity Targets is the strategic plan for the CBD, which includes twenty time-bound, measurable targets which the CBD wants countries which are Parties to it to meet by the year 2020.

Kasaona called on participants to engage fully with the presenters who shared their stories on transfrontier conservation areas of region. Southern Africa is one to one of the world’s biggest transboundary conservation area, the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KaZa-TFCA), between Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia and Botswana. 

 At another side on Capacity Building for the Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol held on Sunday, the National Coordinator of the Biodiversity Management and Climate Change (BMCC) project, Henry Ndengendjeho, said Namibia put in place national legal instruments aimed at implementing the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from the use of biological and genetic resources and related traditional knowledge as required by the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefits Sharing (ABS) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Ndengendjeho explained that said the process of developing legal instruments to govern issues of access to biological and genetic resources and the fair an d equitable benefits arising from their commercial use and related traditional knowledge started way back in 1998 but were put on to allow the Nagoya Protocol to come into force.

“Following the finalization and entry into force of the Protocol, Namibia re-initiated the development of the national legal instruments and this resulted in the enactment of the Access to Biological and Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge Act (Act No: 2 of 2017) in June 2017,” he said.  The BMCC project is under MET. 

Currently, he said, Namibia is busy developing regulation to operationalize the Act and the key focus will be on harmonizing permitting system and national laws that regulates the access and the use of biological and genetic resources in the country. This side event was organized by the GIZ-funded by ABS Capacity Development Initiative.
On Saturday, Namibia participated in a side event on ‘Values-Insights and Lesson Learned in Finding the Right Place for Ecosystem Services in Policy, Planning and Practice,’ which was organize by GIZ.

At this event, Kasaona said Namibia had Resource Mobilization for Biodiversity Conservation project, which did a study on value of ecosystems in the country, which find that the value of ecosystem services in Namibia exceeds N$13 million per year while the total biodiversity expenditure from all sources is slightly more than N$1 billion per year.

He said Namibia is currently looking at a number of issues aimed at putting money into biodiversity conservation, such paying for ecosystem services, increasing park entry fees, an environmental levy – such as the introduction of the plastic levy, lubricant, batteries are all items approved by Cabinet.

Kasaona said although this project came to end this year, a new related project called Bio-Economy in Selected Landscape is being mooted. 

Namibia also participated in the Aichi Biodiversity Targets Poster Exhibition, where countries showed what they have done towards thee achieving their Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The 14th Conference of Parties to the CBD started from the 17th – 29 of November 2019.

New Era Reporter
2018-11-20 09:51:39 6 months ago

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