The Environment Investment Fund (EIF) last week hosted the third edition of Namibia’s Sustainable Development Awards under the theme ‘Accelerating the green economy transformation as we recover from Covid-19’.
Speaking at the awards, EIF CEO Benedict Libanda said the awards honour women and men who are showing the nation every day that the race against environmental and sustainable development challenges is a race that can be won. What is needed is willpower, determination and vision.
He stated the inaugural edition of the awards was held in 2015, followed by a second edition in 2017. For this year’s edition, 74 applications were received.
“This year’s Sustainable Development Awards have stepped up to acknowledge concrete solutions through natural capital to Covid-19 epidemic and climate crisis, the defining issue of our time,” she said.
The Sustainable Development Awards is an important joint initiative of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council and the EIF of Namibia.
Gloria Simubali, chairperson of the sustainable development advisory council said the development awards was born out of the perception that a wide variety of institutions and individuals are active in Namibia in demonstrating leadership, innovation and excellence on environmental issues and that there was no mechanism in place to recognise, reward and showcase the valuable work of these institutions and individuals.
At the ceremony, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta noted that “The green agenda in Namibia has moved on significantly since the first edition in 2015. The green and blue economies are identified in the recently-launched second Harambee Prosperity Plan as complementary engines of growth and the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy recommended a number of concrete actions for the greening of the economy, moving forward.”
According to Shifeta, the establishment of the Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilience Facility (CRRRF) in May 2020, through EIF, the facility has made an immense contribution in supporting communal conservancies and tourism enterprises in conservancy areas to withstand the Covid-19 pandemic.
The facility has attracted a little over N$123 million from different donors and contributors through various implementation partners.
He further stated that the N$123 million under the facility, about N$99 million has so far been committed to various initiatives until December 2021 – approximately N$40 million has already been disbursed to all 86 gazetted conservancies. Ten men and woman received awards in respective categories they were nominated in Private
Sector Champions for Sustainable Development with
three sub-categories for start-ups, Small and Medium Enterprises as well as Established Companies. Start-ups Paver Plast, SME Ebikes 4 Africa, and Established Companies Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp were the winners.
For Community level natural resource management and utilisation initiatives, Lukas Mandema was the winner, while Professor Daniel Likius won in Research and Development to reward outstanding pieces of research or innovations in the field of sustainable development.
In the category of Youth Action for Sustainable Development, which focuses on youth leadership and initiatives in the area of sustainable development, Toini Amutenya was the winner. For Pioneering journalism in the field of sustainable development, Lesley Tjiueza was the best in television, Absalom Shigwedha for best print while David Bishop scooped for the best radio.
In the sixth category, Agnes Tjirare won the Women and Environment award, while the Ediva Primary School (for public school) and Private School Swakopmund for the private school category won the award for Sustainable Schools. In Green Financial Services or Institution category, Bank Windhoek was the winner – while in the Thought Leadership category, Mary Seely walked away with the award. - firstname.lastname@example.org