REHOBOTH, 29 JUN – The belated commemoration of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was held at Rehoboth on Wednesday.
The day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1995 and is observed on 17 June every year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.
This year’s theme was ‘Land has true value, invest in it.’
Speaking during the event, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Bernadette Jagger said the theme suits Namibia.
“It is no secret that our people and economy are heavily dependent on natural resource-based sectors including agriculture, livestock farming, fisheries and tourism… Any unsustainable land use will have major repercussions on the productivity of these sectors and the livelihoods of our people,” Jagger said.
She further said Namibians should recognise that land is a major source of livelihood.
“We should therefore all move away from unsustainable land use and make a difference by investing in the productive use of land… Let us identify and pursue more opportunities for sustainable land use and assist in addressing the food insecurities that the country if facing,” Jagger said.
The deputy minister said as the custodian of environment, the Environmental Management Act no 7 of 2007, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism outlines certain activities that cannot be conducted without an environmental assessment certificate.
“Some of these include land use activities such as sand mining and any other agricultural activities that are harmful to our environment. Any harmful activities on land have a negative impact on the environment,” she said.
She said sand miners should approach the ministry for compliance certificates, saying their operations will be halted if they fail to do so.
The event ended with a tree planting ceremony and handing over of seeds to schools.