Boost for climate mitigation

01 October 2018 | Environment

More than N$100 million will be spent on the construction of the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (Sasscal) regional and national offices located in Namibia.

This according to the agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb, who was speaking at a ministerial meeting by Sasscal held in Windhoek recently. The one-day meeting was held under the theme “Promoting science for sustainable development”, and aimed to discuss how to turn the organisation into an international climate change-fighting body.

Sasscal is a six-member joint venture between Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Angola, Botswana and Germany, and was established in 2012.

With around N$300m (€18m) funding from Germany, various projects were implemented in the member countries relating to agriculture, forestry, capacity-building, biodiversity and water.

According to !Naruseb, not only has the ministry availed land for the construction of the Sasscal Regional Secretariat and the National Node Offices, it has already spent N$30 million on this. He added that provisions have been made in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to avail N$79 million towards the construction.

Namibia and parts of southern Africa continue to experience direct effects of climate change seen in the form of extended drought spells, which wreak havoc on the agronomic and livestock sectors.

According to !Naruseb, Namibia has successfully accomplished various activities and implemented many of its planned programs and projects focusing on agriculture, forestry, capacity building, biodiversity and water. A total of 18 research projects have successfully been completed in Namibia.

“As government we are pleased with these achievements. I want to assure you that we will use the research results to support projects aimed at food security, water security, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forests and woodlands, climate service provision and capacity building,” !Naruseb said.

He praised Sasscal for its successes and welcomed the idea of turning the entity into an international body.

He said the meeting aimed to report back to the ministers on Sasscal achievements in the past seven years, discussing climate changes in the region as well as to set in motion the agenda to transform Sasscal into an international organisation.

“We are going to deliberate on various issues for the sustainability of Sasscal, however the time has come for us as member states to contribute financially to its operations and eventually to take full financial responsibility for it.”

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