WINDHOEK: The Namibia Country Pilot Partnership Programme for Integrated Sustainable Land Management (CPP-NAM: ISLM Programme) in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) will host a conference here next month.
The sustainable land and resource management conference will take place under the theme: “From best practice modules to up-scaling for impact” at a local hotel from 18 to 21 September 2012.
Land degradation as a result of overgrazing, soil erosion, bush encroachment on rangelands, irrigation and desertification, is considered a critical problem directly affecting livelihoods of, especially, rural communities across southern Africa.
The ISLM programme indicates that this presents serious challenges and threats to sustainable development within the region.
Agricultural ecosystems sustain human life on earth and directly provide livelihoods for over half of the world’s population made up of the poorest of the poor, such as subsistence farmers, fishermen and forest users.
Agricultural yields are reported to have declined across southern Africa, and according to available data, about 46 per cent of land in Africa is degraded, which further threatens the productivity of dry land areas.
In dry lands, the soils are fragile, vegetation is sparse and climate is unforgiving. Therefore, the decisions taken for land management directly affect the land and other land-based resources, inland water resources, and may influence climate change.
These impacts on globally important ecosystems have either negative or positive effects on the goods and services provided.
These compounding problems have far reaching adverse impacts on human health, food security, economic activity, physical infrastructure, natural resources and the environment, and national and global security.
They also directly impact on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), especially goals one and seven. It is, therefore, not surprising that there have been mounting concerns and intensified actions by governments and the international community to tackle the issue of land degradation.