Windhoek — ECA, MFMR) - Namibia is in the process of finalising a blue economy national policy as outlined in its 5th National Development Plan (NDP5).
In the opening statement delivered by Hon. George Trepper today on behalf of the Governor of Khomas Region, Laura McLeod-Katjirua, at the official opening of the high-level policy dialogue on the "The Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability" organized by ECA, Southern Africa Office in Windhoek, the Governor advised that "by 2022, Namibia will have implemented a blue economy governance and management system."
The Khomas governor said that the concept of the blue economy was an approach aimed at significantly increasing and harnessing the economic value of the ocean in an environmentally sustainable manner.
"Given the multitude of actors and interests in the blue economy it does, however, necessitate a closer and critical look at the various discourses and how they differ around the blue economy concept as local and international policies will be affected by whichever understanding of the blue economy becomes dominant," McLeod-Katjirua added.
It was his considered view that the high-level policy dialogue on the blue economy, climate change and environmental sustainability will ensure that all achieve a sustainable blue economy beyond 2020.
He thanked stakeholders, for availing themselves to share their knowledge, expertise and skills.
Speaking at the same event, in his official opening remarks read on his behalf by the Executive Director, Moses Maurihungirire, Namibia's acting minister of fisheries and marine resources, Hon Albert Kawana advised that Namibia considered the blue economy as an important and strategic part of overall economic development. "Namibia's blue economy, which includes fisheries, marine mining, maritime transport and marine and coastal tourism account for about 28.8 percent of Namibia's GDP," Mr Kawana added.
He further said that the government was keen to develop the blue economy in an ecologically sustainable way and in this regard, Namibia has an active Inter-Ministerial Blue Economy Committee supported by an Inter-Ministerial Technical Blue Economy.
Mr. Kawana highlighted the importance of the dialogue which will discuss mainstreaming of climate change and environmental sustainability dimensions into existing policies and integration of climate change impacts into national investment planning.
"These issues are important to many coastal states in SADC and Africa in general and I urge participants to come up with tangible policy options that can be used to address these challenges,". he said.
The two-day high-level policy dialogue on the "The Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability will specifically focus on the current threats to the blue economy arising from climate change and environmental issues and challenges, which pose serious risks to the viability, sustainability and economic value of the ocean economy.