PRESIDENT Hage Geingob announced In New York that Namibia has committed a total N$120.5 million to facilitate research in fisheries stocks, the marine ecosystem, maritime research, to intensify the battle against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and to improve ocean governance as a participant in a tripartite agreement with Angola and South Africa.
Namibia is one of the few nations in the world whose constitution guarantees the protection of the country’s natural resources and its environment.
While addressing emissaries at the High Level Panel, Climate Action Summit during 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Dr. Geingob said the world should act together and with urgency, to ensure the ocean continues to support sustainable global climate.
“The livelihoods of people and humanity depends on the world’s collective ability to take urgent action to sustain the planet’s oceans. The threat that climate change poses to the ocean is a common challenge that requires collective action.”
President Geingob, as a member of the High–Level Panel participated in meeting on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy that is aimed at adopting an Ocean-Based Climate Package where he presented Namibia’s commitments to attaining global goals.
President Geingob’s full speech at the High Level Meeting reads as follows:
Namibia is a member of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy and today we are launching a Call to Ocean-Based Climate Action to bring to attention, the role a healthy ocean can play in addressing climate change. The threat that climate change poses to the ocean is a common challenge that requires collective action. The Call to Ocean-Based Climate Action provides a pathway to a low carbon, climate resilient future that secures a healthy ocean and human wellbeing. We urge all actors to join and take action.
In line with this Call, Namibia is committed to the following:
1. Ensuring that at least 10 percent of our Exclusive Economic Zone is gazetted as a marine protected area by 2020. Currently, Namibia’s entire coastal belt is gazetted as national parks and includes three coastal Ramsar sites; namely the Walvis Bay lagoon, Sandwich Harbour and the Orange River mouth, which are protected. Further, our marine waters, less than 200 meters deep are protected from most commercial fishing activities, as they are breeding grounds for fish.
2. Namibia is one of the countries with potential for wind power generation globally, especially around the coastal town of Lüderitz. In this regard, Namibia is committed to generating approximately 144MW additional wind power, by 2022.
3. Namibia is in the final stages of the ratification of Annex 6 of the MARPOL Convention (Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships), which includes 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from ships by 2050, in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s [IMO] Agreement.
4. Namibia is committed to increasing national per capita fish consumption to the global average of 20.4 kg by 2020. We have already increased per capita national fish consumption from 4kg in 2014 to current 15.4 kg in 2018. All regions in Namibia have access to affordable fish.
5. Namibia has committed an additional US$5 million towards ocean research and protection during 2019/2020 financial year. This includes US$2.3 million to facilitate research on oceans, especially on fisheries stocks and marine ecosystem, and a further US$2.7 million to intensify the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and to improve ocean governance.
6. In addition, Namibia, Angola and South Africa, together with development partners, have committed US$3.8 million for maritime research activities under the Benguela Current Convention (BCC) for 2019/2020 financial year.
Let us act together and with urgency, to ensure our ocean continues to support sustainable global climate. The livelihoods of our people and humanity, depends on our collective ability to take urgent action to sustain our Oceans.