Blue economy in spotlight

Fisheries, marine mining, maritime transport and marine and coastal tourism account for about 28% of Namibia's GDP.

20 November 2019 | Fishing

The fisheries ministry on Monday commenced a two-day high-level expert policy dialogue on the blue economy, climate and environmental sustainability.

The dialogue, which ended yesterday, was held in conjunction with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

In a speech read on his behalf, acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana explained that the dialogue focused on current threats to the blue economy arising from climate change and environmental issues, as well as challenges that pose serious risks to the visibility, sustainability and economic value of the ocean economy.

This included a review of some of the measures that could enable coastal countries to cope effectively, creatively and sustainably with environmental changes, and mitigating the impacts and threats to marine ecosystems and coastal resources, such as resilience building, climate financing, capacity building and collaboration, he said.

“The dialogue will discuss mainstreaming of climate change and environmental sustainability dimensions into national investment planning,” Kawana added on Monday.

He said Namibia's blue economy, which includes fisheries, marine mining, maritime transport and marine and coastal tourism accounts for about 28% of Namibia's gross domestic product (GDP).

It is therefore critical to the country's attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG goal one of poverty eradication.

“The government is keen to develop our blue economy in an ecologically sustainable manner that avoids over exploitation or damage to the ecosystem and in an economically inclusive manner that ensures that no Namibian is left behind,” Kawana said.

He said Namibia has an active inter-ministerial blue economy committee that is supported by and inter-ministerial blue economy technical committee.

“This committee is currently finalising the development of Namibia's blue economy policy which will be central in catalysing development of these important economic sectors in line with Namibia's Fifth National Development Plan (NDP 5).

Kawana said these issues are important to many coastal states in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Africa in general.

The dialogue was attended by representatives from Angola, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Mozambique and South Africa.

NAMPA

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