Windhoek — The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has appointed members of the newly established Sustainable Development Advisory Council, who will play a key role in guiding the country's environmental and national development initiatives.
The appointment of the members of the council is only the first step towards the full implementation of the Environmental Management Act.
Namibia is known for its efforts and ethics and norms when it comes to habitat conservation and environmental protection.
Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, who announced the names of the members of the council this week, said Namibia is rated highly in the world for its conservation efforts and fully embraces the concept of sustainable development.
"The country's environmental assets provide opportunities for us to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030 and to make good progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals, especially goal number 7 dealing with environmental sustainability," the deputy minister said.
The new members of the council are:
- Anna Shiweda (Deputy PS - Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry)
- Annely Haiphene (Chief National Development Advisor - NPC)
- Dr Gaby Schneider (Director of Geological Survey - Ministry of Mines and Energy)
- Martha Mwandingi (Head of the Namibia Energy and Environment Desk -UNDP)
- Sioni Iikela (Youth Representative)
- Dr Chris Brown (Natural Resources Specialist)
- Dr Michael Humavindu (Natural Resources Economist)
- Dr Malan Lindeque (PS - Ministry of Trade and Industry and Chairperson of the Council)
The council members will serve for a period of three years. Dr Lindeque said balancing competing interests would be a tremendous challenge, but promised to give it the council's best efforts, while in the meantime looking at operational modalities.
Shifeta urged council members to strike a balance between the country's developmental needs and environmental protection imperatives.
"You need to mobilise all Namibians. We must build a national consensus for action, which is practical, targeted and geared towards dynamic and progressive change.
"We must aim to add value to our natural resources throughout the value chain," Shifeta appealed to the members.
The functions of the council are to promote and coordinate between government, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, the private sector and funding agencies on environmental issues relating to sustainable development.
The council is also required to advise the minister on policy matters, environmental management and use, as well as protection strategies.