MEFT launch the National Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development Policy

by Classen Sibolile

The Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism have launched the National Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development Policy and Namibia Environment Education Network (NEEN) website.

   The new policy is aimed at providing comprehensive guidance and strategies on how to promote environmental sustainability on levels of societies.

  The policy further seeks to empower leaners to take informed decisions and responsible actions to protect the environment, to safeguard economic viability and participate actively and positively in society.

   In the implementation, educators and educational institutions, such as schools, universities and vocational education centers will play important role by putting the policy and its objectives into concrete actions so that learners and students at all level can benefit from it.

   The NEEN website will offer digital formats, information sharing and access to resources in environmental education and education for sustainable development for educators, civil society and the general public.

   Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Tourism, Hon Pohamba Shifeta commended Hanns Seidel Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme and the German Government through the GIZ for their collaboration and support in shaping the new policy.

   ‘’There has been significant damage to the environment as citizens are not equipped with relevant knowledge, attitudes values and skills to manage natural resources in a way that protect environment’’ explained Shifeta.

   Once environmental issues threaten development and the quality of life of citizens, environmental education and education for sustainable development are of utmost importance in creating an environmental literate society that can sensitize the nation on the role that each individual has to play.

As a nation, Namibia has made great strides in many aspects including environmental sustainability although a lot need to be done to sustain the environment, stressed Shifeta.

According to Shifeta, the most challenging issues are climate change, land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, depletion of national resources on land and in the oceans, water insecurity, habitat destruction and waste and pollution control.

They are further compounded by socio economic challenges such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, HIV and AIDS, gender based violent, poverty, inequality income distribution, slow economic and high rate of unemployment said Shifeta.

   Also speaking at the launch was Permanent Representative of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of German to Namibia Ms. Ellen Goelz, who said, supporting activities towards sustainable development is at the core of German international cooperation.

   ‘’In Namibia, the management of natural resources, including nature conservation and the creation of livelihoods through the wealth of natural resources, remains one of the priority areas of development cooperation’’ said Goelz.