6 December 2012

Namibia: Nation Wins Another Environmental Award

A NAMIBIAN climate-change adaptation project has been awarded the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities Award.

Out of 100 projects that were submitted for selection, Namibia’s holistic community adaptation to climate change project – which has been implemented in the Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Kavango regions – was among nine projects from developing countries that were given the award.

This is the only project in the whole of Southern Africa that won the award. The Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities Awards were handed over at the 18th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, currently underway in Doha, Qatar.

The project, which is being implemented by Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions (CES), Ergonomidesign and the United Nations Development Programme among others, is piloting six coping strategies to climate change vulnerability in several local communities.

It aims to show that these coping strategies can be duplicated on a larger scale to communities in smaller situation.

These strategies, according to Andreas Tweendeni, the field coordinator of the CES, include the use of energy-efficient stoves, agro-forestry and vegetable production under micro-drip irrigation.

The locally produced energy-efficient wood-burning stove, for example, provides a solution to the problem of cooking over an open fire.

It reduces harmful smoke, decreases deforestation, create local jobs through the production of the stoves and drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

The project has received funds from the UNDP Small Grants Project, Africa Adaptation Namibia, the Environmental Investment Fund and the Country Pilot Partnership for Integrated Sustainable Land Management.

The awards were given to recipient projects by the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, on Tuesday evening.

The Namibian project was represented by Tweendeni, farmer and founder of the project Johanna Nuunyango and Richard Shikongo, a beneficiary of the project from the Kavango Region.

Tweendeni said the project has proved that these innovative ways of addressing climate change can help communities to adapt and can de duplicated on a larger scale to communities. “I am feeling very good that we have won the award. These activities can help people live sustainable lives,” said Nuunyango.

Absalom Shigwedha is a freelance environmental journalist.

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