By Wezi Tjaronda
Namibia now has a law in environmental management after 12 years of consultations.
The Environment Management Bill became law after it was gazetted on December 27 last year.
The law, said the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, will ensure that Namibia’s future generations inherit an environment that is similar to or even better than the one that exists now.
Its objectives include promoting sustainable management of natural resources by establishing principles for decision-making on issues affecting the environment.
Permanent Secretary, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, said in a press statement on Friday that the law was an important step that culminated from a long consultative process that the Ministry conducted over the past 12 years.
Namibia’s Constitution provides for the protection of the environment in Article 95, which says: “The State is obliged to ensure maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity and utilisation of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of Namibians both present and future.
“In particular, the Government will provide measures against the dumping or recycling of foreign nuclear and toxic waste on Namibian territory.”
The Environmental Management Bill provides for thorough environmental assessment studies and consultations with communities and regional and local authorities before projects are undertaken.
It further provides for the creation of a development advisory council, the appointment of an environmental commissioner and environmental officers.
It lays down stiff sentences of N$500ǟ