COUNTRIES in the southern African region, Namibia included, no longer have the capability to produce enough food for their citizens due to the effects of climate change.
This was said by the director of Economic Commission of Africa (ECA), Said Adejumobi at the high level policy dialogue (HLPD) on the 'Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability', held in Windhoek yesterday.
Adejumobi said more than 200 million Africans whose economies are heavily reliant on the blue economy are faced with resource depletion as a result of severe drought and floods caused by climate change.
The 'blue economy' is defined as an emerging concept that encourages people to take better care of the ocean or 'blue' resources. The model aims for the improvement of human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.
Speaking at that platform, Adejumobi added that these countries need to set up policies that protect their economies from the current climate change challenges.
"Many countries in the fisheries sector face a serious climate change challenge, thus there is a need to manage resources in this sector of the economy well in a manner that creates sustainability," he said.
Looking at Namibia, the ECA director said the country needs to find a balance between job creation, through the exploitation of its fishing resources, and the sustainable exploitation of its natural resources.
Namibia will fully implement a blue economy to benefit its citizens by 2023, a senior government official said yesterday.
Also speaking at the HLPD, Khomas regional governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua told delegates that Namibia's marine resources production is being harshly affected by climate change.
She added that the country is therefore working on policies that will benefit all Namibians through using earnings from its marine resources for infrastructure development.
Similar to other countries, McLeod-Katjirua said, Namibia is faced with an uneven distribution of its natural resources, but added that as a country, the aim is to harness marine resources to benefit the economy as well as the Namibian people.
The governor added that Namibia, in line with the African Union's Agenda 2063, aims to promote economic development, while also improving the standard of living for its people.
"As a member of the Southern African Development Community as well as the African Union, we believe that the sustainable exploitation of natural resources for the improvement of the livelihood of Namibians is the way to go," she said.