Biodiversity management and climate change
Title: Biodiversity management and climate change in Namibia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET)
Overall term: 2017 to 2020
Namibia’s natural resources and biodiversity offer significant potential for the country’s socio-economic development. However, they are being increasingly threatened and degraded by unsustainable practices, such as overgrazing, deforestation and the inefficient use of water. Climate change is expected to intensify the country’s existing vulnerability to droughts and floods. Although Namibia’s commendable environmental policy agenda has developed dynamically, new frameworks still need to be put fully into practice.
Policies, strategies and practices relevant to biodiversity and climate change are introduced in a coherent manner, thereby contributing to increasingly secure and diversified livelihoods for the local people who depend on natural resources.
The project is being implemented jointly by GIZ and Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), in cooperation with other ministries and non-governmental actors. The project involves activities at local, regional and national levels. To achieve its objectives the project focuses on three main areas:
Environmental policy development and implementation
At the national level, the project and the MET are working on the implementation of a number of measures in line with the Environmental Management Act 7 of 2007. One of these is the use of strategic environmental assessments, which are considered the most effective means of integrating environmental risks and potentials into the policies, plans and programmes of other sectors. The project also supports the enactment of legislation to regulate access to genetic resources and to promote equitable benefit-sharing. Regionally and locally, the project is working to strengthen the capacity of the MET for the full implementation of the recently approved policy of community-based natural resources management, in cooperation with other ministries. This should encourage the use of integrated natural resource management approaches by local communities.
Community-based natural resources management in a changing climate
To consolidate the successes of the community-based natural resources management approach and to align it with nature conservation policies, the project is working with a number of communal conservancies and community forests in the Kavango East and Ohangwena Regions. It promotes the commercial use of biodiversity-based products (biotrade), the ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, and improved governance to sustain these development processes.
Cross-sector mainstreaming of environmental concepts
The project is facilitating the integration of crosscutting environmental concepts, such as biodiversity management, climate change adaptation and the green economy, into the development planning activities of other ministries. It is also assessing the possible introduction of policy instruments, including environmental fiscal reforms and payments for environmental services, to provide incentives for the safeguarding of natural assets and ecosystem services – the natural capital of the green economy. To achieve this, the project is cooperating with cross-sectoral committees, such as the Sustainable Development Advisory Council, and it is supporting the implementation of the updated National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.