By Albertina Nakale
WINDHOEK – In an attempt to keep Namibia’s biodiversity healthy and resilient to threats, a conservative estimate of N$494 million is required to fully implement the second strategy and action plan over the next nine years.
Namibia implemented its first National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP1) during 2001-2010. It was internationally recognised as being one of the best first generation plans and provided a strong foundation for the sustainable management and use of biodiversity in the country.
In 2012, Namibia set about the process to develop NBSAP2 which will cover the period between 2013-2022 to build upon the foundation and directly tackle the threats and challenges it faces in this area.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga, said the first action plan led to the implementation and proclamation of four new state protected areas.
These are the first marine protected area and the world’s largest trans-frontier conservation area, an increase in the number of conservancies from 15 to 79 and the proclamation of 32 community forests as well as the continued recovery of wildlife and fishing stocks based on an innovative policy framework and system of quotas and permits.
Although funding has been identified as a constraint, Herunga said it’s the task of the second plan to build on the achievements and tackle the threats and challenges the country faces.
“Inadequate funding levels are a major impediment to effective national biodiversity conservation and can severely affect the attainment of set goals. Unfortunately, conservation spending baseline data is difficult to collate and is incomplete in many countries. Namibia is no exception. It is therefore vital that activities are undertaken to quantify the relative adequacy of the levels of Namibia’s conservation finance,” the ministry states in its second NBSAP 2013-2022 report.
Rough estimates during the first NBSAP period depicts government spending accounting for between 65 to 75 percent of total biodiversity funding on average, whilst donor aid covered the remaining 25 percent.
This, the ministry says, underpins the strategic importance of donor aid in ensuring optimal conservation funding in Namibia and in narrowing funding gaps.
Furthermore, the ministry indicates that leveraging on ensuring the diversification of sources of funding as a strategy is also important.
“This should ensure that domestic spending is aided by donor spending, private philanthropy and conservation trust funds. Finally, innovative forms of financing should also be explored to ensure that appropriate economic instruments and financing mechanisms are identified and utilised,” the report states.
The set goals and targets for the second NBSAP are to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society, reduce direct pressure on biodiversity and promote the sustainable use of biological resources.
Other targets include the improvement of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity and enhancing the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The second NBSAP also targets the implementation of a second biodiversity strategy and action plan through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building by 2022.
Namibia is one of the few countries in the world that includes a clause in its constitution targeting the sustainable management of biodiversity.