Mitigating the effects of drought is crucial

by Deon Schlechter

Mitigating the effects of drought is crucial

Windhoek

It is our duty as technical experts and politicians to come together and implement the outcomes of the decisions taken this week at the first African Drought Conference that started in Windhoek on Monday and ends Friday.

“Let us work together during this week so that we share and learn from best practices in drought management that are being undertaken across the world and let this information be used to inform this strategic framework that we are busy developing.”



With these words, Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta stressed the importance of the historic conference when he addressed delegates from around the globe, noting that the objective of the convention is to mitigate the effects of drought and this is particularly important to Namibia and many African countries.

“The increasing instances and severity of drought in Namibia not only affect our agriculture and food security, but also compromises our water security, without which our economy and country will be unable to develop.

“The urgency to tackling the problem of drought was strongly emphasised in the outcomes of the eleventh Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, which was held here in Windhoek in 2013, as included in the Namib Declaration.

“This conference is part of our commitment to see through the implementation of this Declaration and we’re proud to take the initiative on what is such an important issue for Africa,” he observed.

He said the increasing political momentum behind tackling issues of desertification, drought and land degradation presents an opportunity that should not be missed.

“We’ve seen decisions and resolutions dedicated to drought over the past two years at the African Union, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and most recently at the UN Environmental Assembly,” he noted.

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