ALTHOUGH Africa has rich biodiversity and ecosystems services, the true value of these services to national economies and human well-being is still under - appreciated in decision-making processes.
This was said by environment minister Pohamba Shifetas when he officially opened a Sub-regional preparatory workshop on biodiversity finance and resource mobilization for the SADC region held in Windhoek recently.
He said the under-appreciation of biodiversity and ecosystem services has resulted in limited budgetary allocations for biodiversity conservation and management.
Shifeta said the workshop was an important platform for the SADC region to exchange ideas and discuss regional and national experiences and development and to elaborate on financing solutions that work for the region.
The said biodiversity and ecosystems services in Namibia underpin the country's economy and impact positively on the rural population as 70% of NamibianS depend on biodiversity for their livelihood.
"It is therefore important that we safeguard our natural resources. If the ecosystem reaches the threshold of potential concern due to unsustainable use, productivity will do irreversible damage to the ecosystem and the services that it renders to us," he said.
The minister said it was worth noting that there are significant efforts undertaken in many countries to increase funding for biodiversity conservation, however, the funding is still not sufficient.
At the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Egypt last year, parties affirmed that resource mobilisation must be an integral part of the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Next year's Conference of Parties to be held in China is being convened with a special focus on improving the financial resources needed for globally implementing 20 global targets under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-20. The workshop was funded by the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) of the United Nations Development Programme in and collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.