Rev Jan A. Scholtz
One of the core facets of our constitution can be surmised as “Everyone has the right (a) to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being, and (b) to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures.”
What does it boil down to in an independent society such as ours?
Democracy implies that each of us take responsibility for what is happening and what is to happen in our country. We cannot shrink our responsibilities and we certainly cannot place all environmental worries in the obligation of the government alone. The government certainly has an important role to play in protecting our ecosystem but so do we as citizens.
Article 95 (I) of the Namibian Constitution stipulates that among others, “maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future; in particular, the Government shall provide measures against the dumping or recycling of foreign nuclear and toxic waste on Namibian territory.” Additionally to this, His Excellency, Dr Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia established the National Clean-up Campaign in 2018 and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has designated 21st September as a National Clean-up Day. All Namibians have been called upon to participate in continuous Clean-up Campaigns in the spirit of volunteerism.
The principle we have to take note of is: Respect And Care For The Ecosystem reflects on our duty to care for other people and other forms of life. It is our responsibility to see to it that what takes place in our society does not create conditions that cause further environmental harm and loss of quality of life. This responsibility we have does not apply only towards our present generation but also future generations and the environment they have to live in. Therefore, as Namibians, we are called to live in such a way that the survival and well-being of all living creatures will be ensured and motivations of the protective behaviour toward the natural environment should be encouraged.
With the end of 2019 and Yuletide upon us, a lot of introspection and retrospection is necessary, taking into account the above. We must keep in mind the policies and strategies in place under the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, e.g. a national ban on the use of plastic bags in game parks and national reserves. The environment belongs to us; therefore, let’s change our attitude to create a healthy and clean Namibia.
We as Namibians need to drive development and progress that is fauna and flora-centric. It is only then that we and our planet have any future.
• Reverend Jan. A. Scholtz is a holder of a Diploma in Theology, B-Theo (SA), a Diploma in Youth Work and Development from the University of Zambia (UNZA), Diploma in Education III (KOK) BA (HED) from UNISA. (This article is written in his personal capacity)
2019-12-13 08:10:34 | 3 months ago