Sustainability rewarded

25 May 2021 | Environment

Windhoek • Steffi Balzar



The Sustainable Development Awards were presented in the capital for the third time on Friday. Hosted by the Sustainable Development Advisory Council (SDAC) and the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF), this year’s motto was “Accelerating the green economy transformation as we recover from Covid-19”.

According to EIF managing director Benedict Libanda, concrete solutions against the effects of the Corona pandemic and the climate crisis were honoured this year through the use of natural capital. “At the forefront are entrepreneurs who put sustainability at the heart of their business strategy, including online pioneers who use technology to protect our sensitive ecosystems,” Libanda said.

Prizes were awarded in nine categories, which for the first time this year included individuals and institutions in the areas of Women and Environment, Sustainable Schools, Green Financial Institutions and Thought Leadership.

Devastating effect

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said that the corona pandemic had a devastating effect on the Namibian economy, with the tourism sector alone seeing a sharp decline of 87% in international visitors in the past year, prompting many tourism businesses to close and more than 1 000 people to lose their jobs.

“Furthermore, one has be aware of the dependence of other countries in the areas of food procurement and industrial products. The transition to a greener economy, based on the most efficient and sustainable use of our natural resources, offers us the opportunity to overcome this crisis,” Shifeta said.

However, he praised the EIF’s efforts that launched the Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilience Facility in May last year, to ensure that communities in conservancies could continue with their activities. “To date, the fund has acquired N$123 million in donations from various project partners, of which N$40 million has already been distributed to 86 conservancies.”

Furthermore, Shifeta advocated the New Green Economy Program (2030), which is “a new strategy based on the implementation of climate change adaptation projects and their mitigation in all regions of the country and to stimulate economic growth. Under the direction of the EFN, this is an essential component of the transition to a greener economy.”

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