By Irene !Hoaes
Learners from Hochland High School joined by David Bezuidenhout High School, Ella du Plesis High School and Emma Hogenhout Primary School celebrate World Environment Day by planting trees, symbolising the preservation of the environment.
The learners were joined by representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO,) the British Council – Africa: Connecting Classrooms and Africa Dreams and Teams programme, school board and teachers.
Prior to the tree planting ceremony, learners celebrated the day with poetry dedicated to the environment as well as songs.
This year’s national theme for the World Environment Day is “Local Action With a Global Action – Namibia and Climate Change”.
Some scientists predict that the rise in sea levels will submerge parts of Walvis Bay and lead to flooding of most coastal areas and ecosystems, while increased temperatures and reduced rainfall are likely to cause shifts in dominant woody vegetation with resultant reduction in livestock production in some areas.
Bush encroachment and reduced grain and crop production is cited as another problem due to drought.
It is also predicted that malaria might also become more prominent in areas with higher rainfall.
An official from the environment ministry, Ndina-Tate Imasiku told learners that the day should be a wake-up call for all earth’s inhabitants to look after the environment.
“We must realise that children born in 1990 may find, by the time they turn 25 in 2015, that they have inherited freedom without beauty, equality without a sustainable environment and reconciliation without resources,” Imasiku said.
Imasiku said there is no greater asset for humanity than the long-term health and well being of the planet.
The environment official told learners that there can be no goal crucial to mankind’s survival than the protection and nurturing of the environment.
UNESCO’s Education Programme Specialist, Dr Edem Adubra, told learners that World Environment Day is not the end itself but just an opportunity to create momentum for raising these issues.
Adubra said climate change in Namibia poses an intense threat in an already vulnerable country, which is dependent on natural resources for its survival.
The ministry has come up with a number of initiatives to address the effects of climate change, such as the establishment of a national climate change office, development of a national strategy and action plan and the financial resource mobilisation to support implementation.