Environmental Affairs

The main objective of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is to promote environmental sustainability across all other ministries, the private sector and non-governmental organisations with regard to giving effect to Article 95 (L) of the Constitution.

 

The functions and objectives of the DEA are to:

  • Promote sustainable development;
  • Protect biological diversity;
  • Improve environmental awareness;
  • Promote natural capital accounting as a decision-making support tool;
  • Encourage participatory environmental planning and management;
  • Actively involve Namibia in regional and global environmental issues, programmes and treaties.

 

The activities of the DEA contribute towards the achievement of Strategic Objective 3 of the MET Strategic Plan 2012/13-2016/17, which is to “ensure that Namibia's environment, biodiversity and ecological processes are conserved, managed and sustainably utilized.”

The Environmental Commissioner serves as head of the DEA, which is also home to three divisions. The Office of the Environmental Commissioner takes responsibility for managing the DEA and for the following functions in terms of Section 5 of the Environmental Management Act No.7 of 2007:

(a) Advise organs of state on the preparation of environmental plans;

(b) Receive and record applications for environmental clearance certificates;

(c) Determine whether a listed activity requires an assessment;

(d) Determine the scope, procedure and methods of an assessment;

(e) Review the assessment report in accordance with this Act;

(f)  Issue environmental clearance certificates in terms of this Act;

(g) Maintain a register of environmental assessments undertaken in terms of this Act;

(h) Maintain a register of environmental clearance certificates issued and environmental plans approved in terms of this Act;

(i)  Conduct inspections for monitoring compliance with this Act; and

(j)  Perform any other duty or function, which the Minister may assign or prescribe.

 

 The three divisions of the DEA are:

1. Division of Environmental Assessment, Waste Management and Pollution Control, and Inspections (EAWMPCI)

  • Subdivision: Environmental Assessments
  • Subdivision: Waste Management and Pollution Control
  • Subdivision: Environmental Inspections

The core functions of this Division are to:

  • Receive and review Environmental Assessments and provide recommendations on the issuing of environmental clearance certificates;
  • Promote the management of waste, hazardous substances and pollution in an environmentally sound manner;
  • Monitor and enforce Environmental Management Plans and general measures for environmental protection; and
  • Serve as national focal point and coordinate national level implementation of relevant international conventions(including the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants).

 

2. Division of Environmental Information and Natural Resource Economics (EINRE)

  • Subdivision: Environmental Economics
  • Subdivision: Environmental Education and Awareness
  • Subdivision: Data Management

The core functions of this Division are to:

  • Establish and maintain a natural resource accounting system, with the regular production of natural resource accounts;
  • Coordinate all research activities within DEA;
  • Carry out economic analysis and provide economic advice on relevant policies, legislation and interventions;
  • Foster cross-sectoral partnerships and networks and coordinate environmental education initiatives nationwide;
  • Collect, maintain, update, develop, produce and disseminate environment-related information;
  • Organize environmental education events and outreach as well as the celebration of relevant international environmental days; and
  • Support the establishment, management and administration of environmental education centres, activities and programmes.

 

3. Division of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA)

  • Subdivision: Climate Change
  • Subdivision: Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Management

 

This Division is the national level focal point to a number of Multilateral Environmental Agreements including the following:

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (ratified in 1997);
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (ratified in 1995);
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) (ratified in 1997); and
  • United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

 

The core functions of this Division are to:

  • Promote and support the implementation of all environmental policies and legislations related to biodiversity, sustainable land management and climate change;
  • Negotiate on behalf of Namibia at conferences and meetings of the CBD, UNCCD and UNFCCC;
  • Support and coordinate all programmes, plans and projects relating to the CBD, UNCCD and UNFCCC;
  • Raise awareness at the national and local levels of the CBD, UNCCD and UNFCCC;
  • Advise decision-makers accordingly on all matters related to biodiversity, sustainable land management and climate change-related programmes, plans and projects;and
  • Ensure the fulfillment of Namibia’s reporting requirements to the CBD, UNCCD, UNFCCC and UNCSD.

 

Cross-Cutting Support Projects

The DEA is also home to a number of support projects linked mainly to its role as national focal point to the Rio Conventions and Global Environment Facility. The following projects are implemented in close cooperation with various international partners:

  • Biodiversity Management and Climate Change (BMCC) Project (DEA/GIZ) (2013-2019);
  • National Communications and Biennial Update Reports to the UNFCCC (DEA/UNDP) (2012-2020);
  • Namibian Coast and Conservation Management (NACOMA) Project (DEA/WORLD BANK) (2005-2017);
  • Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas (NAM-PLACE) Project (DEA/UNDP) (2011-2016);
  • Kalahari Namib Project (KNP) (DEA/IUCN) (2014-2016);
  • Resource Mobilisation for effective implementation of Namibia’s Updated Biodiversity Strategy Project (ResMob); (DEA/GIZ) (2014-2017)  Website: https://resmob.org  and
  • Scaling up community resilience to climate variability and climate change in Northern Namibia with a special focus on women and children (SCORE) Project (DEA/UNDP) (2014-2019).

 

The DEA also provides financial support to the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia and Gobabeb Research and Training Centre, which is a joint venture between the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia.

 

Links

www.eifnamibia.com (Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia)

www.gobabebtrc.org (Gobabeb Research and Training Centre)

 

Contact

Tel: 061 2842701