CSF partners with GIZ to deliver ValuES training in Namibia
In September, CSF led several modules in a four-day workshop in Okahandja, Namibia sponsored by the GIZ ValuES program. ValuES is a global project that helps decision-makers integrate ecosystem services into policy making, planning and implementation of specific projects. A key element of the program is training on the selection and application of methods and tools for the assessment and valuation of ecosystem services. The Namibia course is one of several regional training courses taking place around the world in 2015 and 2016.
Participants in the ValuES training, Namibia 2015.
Participants in the course came from Namibian NGOs and universities, as well as the government ministries of fisheries and marine affairs, agriculture, water and forestry, environment and tourism, and land reform. Some of the key issues discussed during the workshop were water scarcity, overfishing in rivers and oceans, grassland conservation, mining impacts, and recreation pricing.
Hot air balloons in a solar eclipse sunset.
Namibia is one of few countries in the world to specifically provide for conservation and protection of natural resources in its constitution. Article 95 states, "The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting international policies aimed at the following: maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes, and biological diversity of Namibia, and utilisation of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future."
Namibia's natural resources and biodiversity offer significant potential socio-economic development. However, they are being increasingly threatened and degraded by unsustainable practices. Climate change is expected to intensify the country’s existing vulnerability to droughts and floods. Although Namibia’s environmental policy agenda is robust, new information and strategies are still needed. CSF believes that building capacity for local people through training programs like ValuES is one way to address the natural resource management issues facing Namibia, and many other countries around the world.