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Namibia celebrates International Day of Forests, World Water Day and World Wetlands Day 2018

27/03/2018

On Tuesday, 27 March 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry (MAWF), in collaboration with FAO and other stakeholders joined the rest of the world in commemorating three important days to Namibia’s natural resources:

International Day of Forests – celebrated under the theme, “Forest and Sustainable Cities – Let’s make out city greener, healthier, happier place to live”

World Water Day celebrated under the theme, “Nature of Water aimed at demonstrating nature based solutions to water related challenges”

World Wetlands Day celebrated under the theme, “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”

In her speech, FAO Representative to Namibia Ms. Farayi Zimudzi highlighted the importance of forests to livelihoods, “Forests cover about one third of the earth’s land surface, performing vital functions that sustains life and livelihoods around the world.  It is estimated that around 1.6 billion people worldwide depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicine, fuel, food and shelter.  Forests also have the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, as they are home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. “This year’s theme of Forests and Sustainable Cities – Let’s make our cities greener, healthier, happier places to live befits today’s world which is more urbanized than ever before.  The theme is befitting as the potential of cities is under threat from unprecedented urban growth, which sadly in many lead to escalating pollution, environmental degradation and puts tremendous pressure on water, food and energy sources.  She added.

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Alpheus !Naruseb in a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Permanent Secretary Mr. Abraham Nehemia talked about the importance of the three special days to make the public more aware on the importance of forests, water and wetlands in our everyday lives.  “The statements, No Water No Future or Water is Life, alludes to the fact that a lack of water means no future and no life anywhere in the world including Namibia.  As we look at the theme of Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future there is a need to recognize the vital role of wetlands for the future of humanity and specifically their relevance towards achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals”. “The International Day of Forests is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of all types of forests and trees to our economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being.  Forests and trees store carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change in and around urban areas, He added.

The event provided a platform for stakeholders in the forestry sector to present the importance of water, plants and challenges faced in the country while highlighting the activities that are being carried out by various partners to address the issues.  During the commemoration, Water Marshalls from different public institutions were awarded after they have been trained on leak identification, water meter reading, and water consumption determination in order to reduce water wastage and save government billions of dollars in water bills.

The celebration of the International Day of Forests, Water and Wetlands was closed with a symbolic tree planting in the park where the event took take.