WINDHOEK: Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa on Tuesday launched the National Rangeland Management Policy (Part I) and Strategy (Part II) – Restoring Namibia’s Rangelands during the opening of the 16th Rangeland Forum in the capital.The forum kicked off on Tuesday and ends Thursday.
The three-day event takes place under the theme “Bush Encroachment – an Asset or Liability?”.
Speaking during the event, Mutorwa said the National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategy (NRMPS) document is very complex.
“It is recognised that Government alone will find it practically and financially very difficult to implement it without the commitment and involvement of all other role players,” he stressed.Mutorwa then requested stakeholders that provide input to the document to meet again and plan actions to investigate ways to cement the commitment of all role players to implement the principles for productive rangelands.
He noted that human resources are available in Namibia to investigate feasible and viable ways and means to implement the strategy in a practical manner, without having to enforce compliance by law.
The condition and productivity of rangelands have a direct impact on the livelihoods of the large majority of Namibians.
Rangeland resources form a vital backbone of the economy, and will continue to play a major role in the livelihoods of current and future generations. In the preface of the document, Mutorwa explained that the economic value of rangelands, generally underestimated by resource users, was used to form the basis to guide this policy and strategy document.
The minister said implementation of the NRMPS will also considerably enhance the contribution of rangeland use to the national economy.“In the short to medium term, lost rangeland productivity can be recovered. As time goes on, with increased adoption and improved skills and understanding among range users, national income amounting to some N.dollars 5 billion might be added to the national economy from the rangeland use sector,” he said.
Mutorwa added that such benefits can go a long way towards mitigating and reversing the anticipated negative effects of climate change and increasing drought incidence in Namibia.