Sharon Kavhu in New Delhi, India
Namibia has committed to increase its share of renewable energy by 37% by 2030, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said this week.
In line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 which focuses on affordable and clean energy, Shifeta said his country has committed itself to increase the share of renewable energy from hydro, solar, wind and biomass in electricity production from 33% in 2010 to about 70% by 2030.
Speaking at the high-level segment of the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combact Desertification (UNCCD) in India this week, Shifeta reaffirmed Namibia’s commitment in attaining the SDG7 and other related goals.
“Namibia has submitted an ambitions National Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015. The country aims at a reduction of 89% of its GHG emissions at 2030-time horizon compared to the BAU scenario,” said Shifeta.
He said Namibia has set aspiring targets on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) which is in-line with the SDG 15.3 which focuses on combating desertification, restoring degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.
“Furthermore, Namibia has set ambitious targets on LDN to restore vast areas of degraded land and continue to promote the community based natural resource initiatives, including communal conservancies and community forests. This would go a long way to ensure that humans live in harmony with nature thereby promoting sustainable land management practices that will enhance healthy soils and ecosystems,” he said.
“For Namibia the protection of the environment is a constitutional
imperative. Article 95 of the Namibian constitution obligates the state to protect the environment for the future generations in particular and the welfare of society in general. Therefore, it is against this background that Namibia has mainstreamed issues of land degradation, climate change and biological conservation in its national development plans, policies and strategies.”
Shifeta said the Namibian government had established cross-sectorial committees to guide the implementation of the three Rio conventions.
The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gave rise to the three Rio Conventions, namely the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The CBD aims to conserve and protect biodiversity, biological resources and safeguard life on Earth as an integral part of economic and social development. Considering biological diversity as a global asset to current and future generations and populations across the planet, the convention works to prevent species extinction and maintain protected habitats. It promotes the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity, and works to maintain the environmental and sustainable process of access and benefit sharing, derived from genetic resource use.
The UNFCC is committed to the objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
The UNCCD functions as an international agreement that ties the sustainability of land management and the issues of land degradation to the environment. Among the areas of consideration, the convention focuses on restoring degraded ecosystems found in dryland areas. The UNCCD, consisting of 197 parties, works towards creating a future that avoids, minimises, and reverses desertification/land degradation and mitigates the effects of drought in affected areas at all levels.
“In addition, Namibia is currently crafting its synergy strategy on the three Rio conventions with the aim to enhance implementation coherence and maximize on possible overlaps on means of implementation for effective and efficient coordination of these very important conventions.”
The high-level segment was a ministerial breakfast hosted by the Group of Friends on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought.
Among the delegates who attended were the Executive Secretary of UNCCD, Ibrahim Thiaw, and Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson.