Conference on integrated landscape management opens

Minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta in collaboration with the International University of Management, inaugurated the National Conference on Integrated Landscape Management yesterday at the Windhoek Country Club.

The conference, held under the theme ‘Optimising Practices: Dry Broadleaf Forest Restoration, Savanna Grazing Management, and Financing Mechanisms for Integrated Landscape Management’, highlights Namibia’s commitment to tackling drought and land degradation challenges.

The opening ceremony acknowledged the ongoing national drought, impacting an estimated 1,4 million Namibians, and Shifeta emphasised the urgency of collaborative solutions, expressing confidence that the conference will shape a more resilient future for the nation.

“The conference champions integrated landscape management as a strategic approach to sustainable land management. Discussions will delve into best practices for restoring degraded dry broadleaf forests and savannah grazing lands. Additionally, the agenda explores knowledge management systems and fosters advocacy for partnerships that support nature-based solutions,” he said.

Shifeta highlighted the importance of digital tools such as remote sensing, data analytics and mobile applications in addressing climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss.

He stressed the importance of adopting these technologies to safeguard Namibia’s natural heritage.

“The conference builds upon the government’s ongoing commitment to sustainable land management, exemplified by the Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance to Eradicate Poverty project. This project prioritises local initiatives such as promoting agro-forestry, tree planting and improved rangeland management through significant funding allocations,” Shifeta said.

The official expressed gratitude to the conference’s financial supporters, namely the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme, before officially declaring the conference open.

“The National Conference on Integrated Landscape Management is expected to generate productive discussions and contribute meaningfully to addressing Namibia’s environmental challenges,” Shifeta said.

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