RUNDU: A two-day workshop on National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) for the Kavango and Caprivi regions kicked off at Rundu on Tuesday.
The workshop, which is being attended by various government stakeholders, aims to facilitate the establishment of regional priorities and possible interventions in the development and implementation of the NBSAPs for 2011-2020.
Officially opening the workshop, Kavango Regional Governor Maurus Nekaro reminded the participants that their deliberations will define both the short and long-term future responses of the two regions towards biodiversity issues, challenges and opportunities.
Namibia is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an internationally binding treaty which promotes sustainable development and is almost 22 years old.
Nekaro explained that the achievements of the Convention include the adoption of national biodiversity strategies and action plans by 171 countries: promoting the notion of a global protected area network: raising awareness about the role of biodiversity within communities and the importance of sustainability in biodiversity issues.
Despite these achievements, the governor said, he is disappointed to note that animal and plant species are still vanishing at an unprecedented rate, which is something that undermines sustainable development and threatens human security.
“Threats posed by the loss of biodiversity are as significant as those posed by climate change, albeit less recognised,” he stated.
Nekaro however indicated that Namibia is committed to making the necessary decisions and actions to ensure that her biodiversity remains intact by following a sustainable development path.
He thus called on the participants to, upon conclusion of the workshop, have a concrete and practical approach and focused activities that will allow all identified regional structures or institutions to fulfill their roles and responsibilities.
NBSAPs are recognised as the main instruments for implementing the UN Convention on Biodiversity at national level.
The first NBSAP for Namibia covered the years 2001 to 2010, and served as an important framework for guiding biodiversity-related innovations throughout the country, as well as identifying biodiversity-related shortcomings, priority areas for interventions and opportunities for the enhancement of benefits.