Hundreds of thousands food insecure

13 December 2019 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT



Namibia’s agricultural sector has been contracting for the past five years and rural households and small-scale farmers have been severely affected, with 700 000 people or 30% of the population now classed as food insecure due to climate change.

This was said by environment minister Pohamba Shifeta at the high-level segment of the 25th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) in Madrid, Spain. The conference ends today.

Shifeta said despite the fact that developing countries such as Namibia had virtually no role in creating the climate change problem, they will bear the brunt of the impacts.

“This is despite the fact that we have had virtually no role in creating the problem which is now recognised as one of the most pressing threats to mankind.”

Shifeta said he was anxious about the serious climatic events and broader challenges many developing countries face.

“Hence, the time to take meaningful and proactive action against the adverse impacts of climate change is now, not tomorrow. It is my strong belief that the cost of inaction to adequately address climate change will haunt us forever,” he said.

Shifeta therefore urged that interventions should be urgently introduced in order to mitigate the challenges of climate change.

According to Shifeta said the Southern African region and particularly Namibia continues to experience one of the worst droughts in history.

He added that the most productive sectors such as fisheries and tourism continue to be undermined by climate change.

“As political leaders, it remains our responsibility to ensure the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to unreservedly support it.”

According to Shifeta Namibia is therefore committed to playing its part in accelerating the response to climate change.

Shifeta also expressed Namibia’s appreciation to the Green Climate Fund, which has now approved four national adaptation projects worth US$39 million in grant funding.

“This is a good start for us and I am pleased to report that these projects are having significant impacts on our most vulnerable communities.”

Shifeta therefore commended countries that have doubled their pledges and called on other major emitters in particular to increase their contributions and honour their commitment to mobilise US$100 billion by 2020 for climate financing.

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