WINDHOEK, 21 SEP – A one-day ministerial meeting of the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) was officially opened here on Friday.
The meeting on climate change, organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, was officially opened by Vice President Nangolo Mbumba.
It is taking place under the theme ‘Promoting science for sustainable development’.
“It is important for us as member states gathered here today to re-dedicate ourselves and intensify our efforts to work together to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 13, which is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts,” said Mbumba.
The vice president went on to say climate change is a global reality and its effects over the past couple of years in the form of extended droughts which harmed the agronomic and livestock sectors, were witnessed in Namibia and other parts of southern Africa.
He said it contributes to a decrease in food production, spread of waterborne diseases, increased risk of malaria, a change in natural ecosystems and loss of biodiversity.
“Consequently, climate change-related disasters severely affect our economies at both macro and micro level, renders our people more vulnerable to environmental and economic shocks, threatens our water and food security, damage our infrastructure and reverses our development gains,” Mbumba said.
In a statement read on his behalf, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Alpheus !Naruseb said 18 research projects were successfully conducted locally. The results will be used to support projects aimed at food security, water security, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forests and woodland, climate service provision and capacity building.
He said the Namibian Government through the ministry has made land available and has to date spent N.dollars 30 million on the construction of the SASSCAL regional secretariat and the national offices.
Further provisions are made in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework to avail N.dollars 79 million towards the construction.
SASSCAL is a joint response of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Germany to the effects of climate change.
Namibia is currently the host country of the SASSCAL regional secretariat head office.