WINDHOEK, 27 MAR – Namibia on Tuesday commemorated the International Day of Forests, as well as World Water and World Wetlands Day.
The days are commemorated globally on 02 February, 21 March and 22 March respectively.
The joint commemoration held by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry recognised the vital role of wetlands, water and forestry.
In a statement delivered on his behalf in the capital, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Alpheus !Naruseb said wetlands and their ecosystems are negatively impacted by climate change and climate variability.
He said these two factors are also the main driving force behind many of the water-related crises experienced in Namibia today.
“When we neglect our ecosystems, we make it harder for the environment to provide much-needed water for human basic needs and economic activities in cities and urban centres,” !Naruseb said.
He further said cities also need forests as the network of woodlands and trees perform a huge range of functions such as regulating climate, storing carbon, removing air pollutants and securing water, among other things.
“Namibia is a dry country, therefore we should all join hands and look after the forests and trees by increasing efforts in managing wood resources while protecting them,” said the minister.
!Naruseb said the ministry will continue to initiate tree planting programmes.
He further stated that the theme for World Water Day, ‘Nature for Water’, calls for nature-based solutions to water problems and related crises, as well as continuous raising of awareness on issues related to water management.
Speaking at the same event, Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Farayi Zimudzi said the theme for the International Day of Forests befits today’s world which is more urbanised than ever before.
The theme is ‘Forests and sustainable cities – let us make our cities greener, healthier, happier place to live’.
“It is befitting as the potential of cities is under threat from unprecedented urban growth which sadly, in many cities, leads to escalating pollution and environmental degradation and puts tremendous pressure on water, food and energy sources,” she said.