6 December 2012

Namibia: Nation Wins Momentum of Change Award in Doha

Doha — Namibia has won the Momentum of Change Award with eight other developing countries at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 18th Conference of Parties on climate change (COP18) underway in Doha, Qatar.

Namibia won the award for initiating six strategies on coping with climate change vulnerability. The strategies are implemented in several local communities in the five northern regions of Namibia. Among these are the use of the energy-efficient stove, also known as the 'Eazy Stove', and agro-forestry and vegetable production under micro-drip.

"We feel good and we want our country and people to get involved in these initiatives," said a very delighted Johanna Nuunyango, initiator of the Eazy Stove idea, after the award ceremony in Doha. The UNFCCC rolled out a number of activities for 2012 to demonstrate the multiple benefits of addressing climate change and to transform misperceptions surrounding the taking of action on climate change. The UN secretariat on climate change believes that highlighting and enhancing the positive developments in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation will increase innovation, motivation, hope, passion and capacity for further change.

These activities consist of collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors and which bring multiple benefits to the urban poor in developing countries.

Field Coordinator of Creative Entrepreneurs Solution, Tweendeni Andreas, also expressed his delight at the achievement, saying the initiative has trained many local people and opened the minds of ordinary people to come up with creative solutions for dealing with challenges caused by climate change.

"But we still have to upscale a lot of our inventions such as the Eazy Stove. We need to improve that stove, make it bigger so that school hostels can also be able to use it," Andreas added.

Richard Shikongo of the Kavango Regional Council said the Momentum of Change initiative is testimony to the fact that public/private partnership can truly work for the benefit of marginalised communities. The Eazy Stove, a Namibian-produced energy-efficient wood-burning stove, provides a solution for the problem of cooking over an open fire. It reduces harmful smoke, decreases deforestation, creates jobs and drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions. The stove and the rest of the other coping strategies will be showcased in one of the exhibition halls at the COP for the world to see and even emulate.

Namibia was chosen along with Kenya, Uganda, Nepal, China, India, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Peru, out of 100 applications, who offered similar mitigation and adaptation strategies. Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, at the awards ceremony said the Lighthouse Activities should inspire and encourage all, adding that real action against climate change is taking place "on the ground" and needs to be replicated everywhere.

"These ideas may be modest but are active small ideas that can help with the climate change phenomenon," the UN secretary general said. The conference started on November 26 and ends on December 07.

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