The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and its stakeholders is observing World Water Day today under the theme “Nature for Water”. MAWF is also celebrating World Wetlands Day as well as the International Day of Forests at the UN Plaza in Katutura in Windhoek this morning.
The United Nations General Assembly has designated March 22 of each year as World Water Day. World Water Day is celebrated to highlight the invaluable role water plays in social and economic development as well as in the general environment. The theme aims at demonstrating the potential of nature-based solutions for water and how they can be considered for water management policy and practice.
Damaged ecosystems, together with climate change, are the main driving forces behind many of the water-related crises experienced around the world today. Devastating floods and drought are all made worse by degraded vegetation and soil as well as reduced floodplain areas.
In the Namibian context, water resources and water security are threatened by climate change and climate variability as well as inefficient water use. World Water Day commemoration provides a platform for continuous awareness-raising on issues related to water in order to change mindsets towards water as a scarce resource, safe disposal of waste water and to create a culture of water saving especially in times like these of climate change and water scarcity.
In Namibia the World Wetlands/Water Day commemoration focuses on the national water saving campaign, particularly on the appointed water marshalls to highlight the importance of water saving at workplaces and the contribution individuals can make to water saving.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 the International Day of Forests in 2012. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organise activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for 2018 is ‘Forests and Sustainable Cities – Let’s make our city a greener, happier place to live.’
Due to the fact that the day collides with Independence Day, MAWF shifted the celebration of the International Day of Forests to today. To celebrate this year’s International Day of Forests, eminent speakers gather worldwide to present innovative ideas on urban farming and the importance of integration of trees in cities.