Namibia: Bio-Economy Plan Nears Implementation

NAMIBIA'S bio-economy strategy will soon be submitted to the National Council on Science, Research and Technology (NCSRT) for approval.

This was announced by Mwangala Nalisa, a senior consultant at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which, in collaboration with the NCSRT, has been conducting national workshops to get inputs on the development of this strategy.

Vincent Nowaseb, a senior official at the NCSRT, on Monday said once the draft of the strategy is submitted to them, it would need the approval of the NCSRT board, before it is sent to the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation for further approval.

Final approval will be provided by the Cabinet. Following this process, the NCSRT will come up with an action plan for the implementation of the activities outlined in the strategy.

Nowaseb said the implementation of the strategy would also require a budget.

The national bio-economy strategy will be implemented from 2021 to 2026.

Bio-economy is defined as the production, utilisation and conservation of biological resources, including related knowledge and innovation.

It aims to provide information, products and services across all economic sectors for a sustainable economy.

The development of the national bio-economy strategy in Namibia came as a result of a global project called 'Towards Sustainable Bio-Economy Guidelines', which the FAO is implementing to support member countries in developing a coherent bio-economy programme.

The FAO and NCRST carried out stocktaking and analysis to establish the baseline of the bio-economy landscape in Namibia, engaged with stakeholders, organised workshops, and finally drafted the strategy.

The project is funded by the FAO.

Namibia has a rich biodiversity with the potential for sustainable production to create knowledge, science, technology, and innovation, resulting in products, processes and services which can provide meaningful employment and alleviate hunger.

Building a sustainable bio-economy sector would assist in addressing several social, environmental and economic challenges faced by the country.

The bio-economy strategy would also help to achieve the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

"But consultation is key," Nowaseb said.

He said initial consultations earlier this year yielded six focus areas for the strategy.

These are agricultural bio-economy, health bio-economy, indigenous knowledge bio-economy, environmental bio-economy, industrial bio-economy and cross-cutting issues related to bio-economy.

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