Environment impacted by agriculture pollution

29 June 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Namibia has ranked 104th out of 180 countries in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index, scoring poorly in terms of environmental practices within the agricultural sector.

Denmark was ranked first in the world, followed by Luxemburg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Germany in the top 10.

Now in its 22nd year, the index has become the premier metrics framework for environmental policy analysis, ranking 180 countries by using 32 performance indicators across 11 categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

The 2020 index features new metrics that gauge waste management, carbon dioxide emissions from land cover change and emissions of fluorinated gasses, all important drivers of climate change. The findings were released this month.



Long-standing commitment

According to the researchers, high-scoring countries generally exhibit long-standing commitments and carefully constructed programmes to protect public health, conserve natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Namibia was ranked third in sub-Saharan Africa, with South Africa and Botswana taking first and second place.

Namibia received its highest scores for ecosystem services and biodiversity and habitat, ranking 36th and 44th respectively. Namibia also scored fairly well in the climate change category, placing 71st globally.



Worst-performing areas

The worst-performing areas for Namibia were air quality (154), environmental health (141), water and sanitation (138) and agriculture (171).

Namibia was among the 10 worst performers globally for agriculture. Within this category, the report specifically investigated the use of nutrient pollutants in the sector.

In 2018, the index also noted this as a problem when it ranked Namibia 161st globally.

The worst-performing countries on the index overall were Afghanistan, Myanmar and Liberia.