Fourth edition of Sustainable Development Awards launched

Pohamba Shifeta

Minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta on Monday launched the fourth edition of the Sustainable Development Awards (SDA), which reward institutions and individuals who have demonstrated leadership, innovation and excellence in environmentally friendly practices while encouraging the best sustainable practices.

At the event, Shifeta said: “This collaborative effort, driven by the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF), has evolved into a symbol of excellence aligning with our theme this year – ‘Investing in Our Planet’.”

The fourth edition is slated for June and is emerging at a crucial juncture, urging collective action on the climate change challenge.

Shifeta said Namibia’s commitment to environmental sustainability is enshrined in the Constitution, specifically in article 95 which calls for environmental sustainability as a constitutional imperative.

Some of Namibia’s early interventions towards environmental sustainability, he said, was the tabling of Namibia’s Green Plan at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit (in Brazil) by founding president Sam Nujoma, and the subsequent creation of the EIF.

He said the launching of the fourth SDA awards should also be done in memory of president Hage Geingob, who was “the architect of the Namibian Constitution as a staunch advocate of environmental sustainability, and who was instrumental in embedding the principles of sustainability within our national fabric”.

This edition of the SDA will feature 10 broad categories.

These are: private sector champions for sustainable development, community level natural resources management and utilisation initiatives, research and development, youth action for sustainable development, artist action for sustainable development, and pioneering journalism in the field of sustainable development, women and the environment, sustainable schools, green financial institutions/services and sustainable mining and exploration activities.

The minister will present a thought leadership award to a leader who has used his or her transformative leadership and innovation to effectively heighten the performance of his or her organisation and make it a role model in Namibia for sustainable development.

The main sponsors of the awards’ fourth edition are the EIF, the Sustainable Development Advisory Council, the United Nations Development Programme and Bank Windhoek.

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