By Frieda Imbili
The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, launched a new project which is aimed at eradicating poverty in rural reas as the same time improve environmental governance and sustainable management of natural resources.
The Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance (NILALEG) project is to be implemented in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the University of Namibia and the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia.
NILALEG directly supports five landscape sites, in five regions namely Omusati, Ohangwena, Kavango West, Zambezi and Kunene. At these sites, the project will seek to achieve a significant reduction in deforestation rates, while enhancing agricultural productivity, biodiversity conservation, sustainable management of natural resources and the income of small-scale food producers living in these landscapes.
The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility to tune of US$10.82 million or approximately N$161 million at the current exchange rate. The majority of the funding for this project will be allocated to initiatives and interventions such as support to the restoration of degraded land, support to agro-forestry and sustainable crop and rangeland management as well as nature-based enterprise development.
This equally include through tourism and value addition and processing of natural products. At least 50% of the project beneficiaries will be female. In addition to the planned interventions in the pilot landscapes, the Project will enhance the country’s capacity to monitor and research trends linked to land degradation, climate change and biodiversity conservation.
The Project will enhance access to financial and technical assistance for communities from across the country so that they are able to scale up the integrated landscape management approach and sustainable nature-based enterprises.
“One of the strategies in this chapter is to strengthen sustainable land management through the achievement of land degradation neutrality and optimum land productivity. This Project will contribute to this strategy by implementing measures to prevent and reverse land degradation in the pilot landscapes which are considered as hotspot areas and extremely vulnerable to land degradation” said Shifeta.
He emphasized that Empowerment of people cannot be achieved by Government alone, therefore we would like to express our profound gratitude to our support organizations, particularly our development partners, NGOs and the private sector for the support they continue to render to our communities in many parts of the country.