Addressing biodiversity funding gaps
The conference was hosted by the Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance to Eradicate Poverty (NILALEG) project, led by the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) as the implementing partner. It aimed at maximising the economic potential of scaling up integrated landscape management and nature-based enterprises in the country.
According to the EIF, the overall objective of the conference was to explore potential ways to enhance access to finance, technical assistance and market information to pilot and scale up the integrated landscape management approach and sustainable enterprises.
It further sought to strengthen institutional coordination and governance mechanisms for integrated landscape management, addressing sustainable financing to drive green economic growth and socio-economic development in Namibia.
"The challenge lies in insufficient investment, both public and private, for scaling up integrated landscape management approaches due to risks and land tenure insecurity," said the EIF.
To overcome this, the conference sought to harness the potential of public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a collaborative force for achieving sustainable development. The conference is part of the NILALEG project's activities to promote sustainable finance mechanisms for integrated landscape management.
It brought together various stakeholders to develop a shared consensus for strategies to address biodiversity funding gaps, create a landscape investment platform, and address obstacles to private sector investment in biodiversity value chains and green businesses.
Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said Namibia's rich natural heritage is at the heart of the country’s identity, but it is also an invaluable resource that, if managed wisely, can lead to prosperity for all.
He said that the NILALEG project's mission is to reduce poverty, protect forests, and promote sustainable nature-based livelihoods, which align perfectly with the vision for a more resilient and thriving Namibia. "This gathering is not just a conference; it is a testament to our shared commitment to the sustainable future of Namibia's landscapes, its people, and its biodiversity," said Shifeta.
He said the NILALEG Project embodies the spirit of integrated landscape management – a holistic approach that recognises the interdependence of nature, communities, and economic development. A report generated from the conference will be shared with key decision-makers and stakeholders to inform policy and practice.