NUST Wins Sustainable Development Awards

The Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) through the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences has recently received the award for top Research and Development at the recent Namibia Sustainable Development Awards in Windhoek. read more…

Namibian Case Study: Bush control generates economic and environmental benefits

Ecosystem services are the key foundation of most socio-economic activities in our societies. Namibia largely depends on land for most of its economic activities with sectors such as agriculture and tourism being the directly linked to land. It is crucial for all components in an ecosystem to maintain a balance to ensure optimal functions of that ecosystem. Most of the land used for agriculture and tourism in Namibia is also faced by bush encroachment that has reduced the productivity of such areas and it is estimated to have affected an area of 30 million hectares.

The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD), an initiative based on the economic benefits of ecosystems, conducted a regional ELD assessment undertaken by the Namibia Nature Foundation with assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry and the GIZ De-bushing Project. The study gives the prospects of a programme for bush thinning at regional and national scale. The regional study focused on the Otjozondjupa region which is the fourth largest region in Namibia and had recorded an encroachment density of 25000 individual bushes per hectare, dominated by Acacia mellifera and Terminalia sericea encroacher species.

The economic assessment was conducted to quantify and value various key ecosystem services and land use options that are threatened by bush encroachment, but could potentially generate benefits to Namibia’s welfare.

Bush thinning and restoration of ecosystems in encroached areas has a lot of potential with direct benefits on the livestock and the tourism sector, as well as the energy production and income generation. Thus the study recommends various strategies from all sectors to bring out the maximum potential value of bush control in the country. Such strategies have to be implemented from a natural resource economics perspective to ensure the benefits of the environment and that of the people.

 

Click here to read the policy brief and the full report.

 

Plastic bag levies, a topic of discussion in the news

On the 4th August 2017, the Environmental Economics Network of Namibia held its 9th After-Work Talk on “The introduction of plastic bag levy – an option for Namibia?’’

Following the EENN After-Work Talk panel discussion, Waste management specifically focusing on recycling of plastic shopping bags and introducing a plastic bag levy has been featured in various media outlets such as Local newspapers and the National Broadcasting television channels. read more…

The introduction of a plastic bag levy – an option for Namibia?

The drafting of regulations through which a levy on plastic carry bags would become a reality in Namibia is at an advanced stage, and these regulations could be implemented towards the end of 2017. This was announced by Mr. Teofilus Nghitila, Environmental Commissioner in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, at the ninth After-Work-Talk of the Environmental Economics Network of Namibia, which was staged at the Namibian Scientific Society in Windhoek on 3 August 2017. He was part of seven panellists who each highlighted the topic, The introduction of a plastic bag levy – an option for Namibia? All panellists were in favour of a plastic bag levy, with minor reservations in some cases. read more…

Namibia represented at the Fourth ValuES Asia-Africa-Europe Regional Meeting in India





Each year, the ValuES project hosts a regional meeting for partner projects, counterparts, staff, and guest experts to delve deeper and foster exchange on some of the current global issues surrounding the integration of ecosystem services into policy. This year, the project conducted its Fourth Regional Values Asia-Africa-Europe Meeting in Goa, India from 25th to 28th April 2017.

ValuES is a global project that aids decision-makers in partner countries in recognizing and integrating ecosystem services into policy making, planning and implementation of specific projects. ValuES also promote knowledge-sharing via regional workshops and participation in global discussion forums. Furthermore, the ValuES project offers technical advice and capacity development through various trainings, case studies, methods and access to information. The training programmes are developed according to the country needs and Namibia was fortunate enough to have received a number of trainings on Economic Valuation and a week-long autumn school programme with the Namibian University of Science and Technology department of Agricultural and Natural Resource Management. (more…)

Nature conservation students of NUST and Germany learn how to value ecosystem services

A total of 18 students from the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST), as well as four exchange students from Germany, participated in the 2017-Autumn School, jointly hosted by NUST and the ResMob Project. This third school of its kind was held from 22 to 26 April 2017, with most of the participants being nature conservation students. The theme of the course was, “Assessing and valuing ecosystem services for policy impacts”. Dr. Morgan Hauptfleisch of NUST and Arjan de Groot of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) facilitated the training.

Dr. Martin Nowack, GIZ Project Manager and Mr. Ferdinand Mwapopi, MET Project Coordinator, both in charge of the Resource Mobilisation for the Biodiversity Strategy of Namibia Project (ResMob), delivered presentations. Ms. Courtney McLaren from the Namibia Nature Foundation and Mr. Quintin Hartung acted as guest lecturers. read more…

8th EENN After-Work-Talk on “Valuing our natural resource base”

Our guest speaker Dr Justine Braby presented on the importance of valuing and conserving our natural resources on which we depend on for our well-being. The presentation focused on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity country studies done internationally and gave examples on how it can influence policy and decision making for sustainable and economic growth. The recommendations based on the lessons learned from other countries, which was Capacity development to integrate Sustainable Development Goals into all field of study at universities and; the timing of economic studies to allow the results to be mainstreamed into policy documents and National Development Plans.

A member of the Environmental Economics Network of Namibia (EENN) engaging in the talk.

Her presentation can found here.

A TEEB country study identifies the ecosystem services that are vital to meeting the country’s policy priorities and makes recommendations on how these services can be integrated into policies. Visit the TEEB website to learn more about this concept at here

More of Dr Braby’s work is available on the Progress Namibia website.

On behalf of the organisers, a big thank you to everyone that attended and actively engaged in the event at NUST Hotel School on the 11th May 2017.

And remember, “We can’t build an economy on a degraded environment”.

Bertha Ijambo shares her experience as an Environmental Economics Trainee at the Namibia Nature Foundation

Bertha Ijambo

I joined the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) as an Environmental Economist trainee in February 2017. NNF is a non-governmental organisation that promote sustainable development, biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. In addition, NNF contributes to programmes by providing expertise in financial and project management.

As a trainee under the Namibia Biodiversity Strategic and Action Plan (NBSAP) Re-costing Project at the NNF, it is my responsibility to support survey implementation, data collection, and organising data in excel and including any other activities such as attending meetings and workshops. The planned traineeship activities are aimed at improving knowledge and skills in environmental economics, which is in line with The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) requirements. Moreover, re-costing the activities within the NBSAP 2 is done in line with the BIOFIN methodology, which has become the primary method for biodiversity finance initiatives throughout the world.  The BIOFIN model helps decision makers to systematically assess financial needs and mobilise financial resources. I have been fortunate enough to familiarise and study the BIOFIN model and I have learned that it is essential to conserve biodiversity but it is more important to understand biodiversity losses in terms of financial and economic terms, in order to include biodiversity in development plans, national budgets and provide policy recommendations.  For private entities to engage in biodiversity conservation, they need to know how they stand to gain by protecting and sustaining ecosystem and biodiversity.  Additionally, in order to mobilise finances there ought to be tangible information flow, communication and efficiency in budget planning, which the BIOFIN model and TEEB facilitates.  Furthermore, to provide financial solutions it is vital to determine the biodiversity expenditure baseline, the required financial needs and prioritise finances capable of closing the financial gap.

It has been an exciting experience being exposed to a different but not strange field, considering the fact that I am soon graduating as an Agricultural Economist. Reading literature on communal conservation, payment for ecosystem services, freehold land in Namibia and other countries has served me with a broader knowledge on Namibia’s biodiversity conservation both on communal and freehold land, and on the environmental economics aspect.  Henceforth, I have been challenged to question and think beyond the scope of what I am reading, using my background and the environmental economics knowledge that I am acquiring, and more importantly improving my research and data collection and processing skills.  Nonetheless, my overall work experience has thus far been very positive, and it is laying a good foundation for my career.  I am happy with the effective work environment because I am exposed to prominent stakeholders (e.g. GIZ and TEEB) involved on the project, hence broadening my network base, which I highly appreciate the opportunity.

Namibia’s spending on biodiversity conservation decreases

The National Coordinator for the Resource Mobilization for Biodiversity Conservation (ResMob) Project in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ferdinand Mwapopi, said biodiversity expenditure in Namibia was the highest in 2010, having received 2,4 per cent of the total Government expenditure.

Martina Kasaona, the Chief Conservation Scientist in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, delivering a presentation on Namibia’s efforts towards biodiversity conservation at the 13th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

A substantial increase on biodiversity expenditure became possible in 2015, due to the Federal Republic of Germany’s contribution. He applauded this contribution when he addressed a panel discussion of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development at the 13th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Cancun, Mexico between 2 and 18 December 2016.

The ResMob project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and GIZ, commissioned by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The BMUB supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

The overarching goal of the ResMob project is to improve Namibia’s capacity in mobilizing resources for biodiversity conservation, specifically to enable the country to effectively implement its second National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP 2). read more…

NNF is seeking Environmental Economics Trainees (Two Positions available)

The Namibia Nature Foundation is looking for two Namibian Environmental Economics Trainees. The trainees will be part of the MET/GIZ TEEB Country Study on Protected Areas and Wildlife initiated by the ResMob project. The positions are scheduled to run from March to August 2017. Applicant should be a recent Masters or Honours Degree graduate in Economics, or about to graduate and available fulltime for the period indicated. The person should demonstrate an interest in conservation, the environment and natural resource management and a good knowledge of data handling and analysis, experience with SPSS, STATA or other forms of statistical software is an advantage. The candidate should also have experience with surveys or ecosystem valuation methods, particularly, contingent valuation is an added advantage.

Interested persons should submit their CV with a covering letter of no more than one page clearly stating how you meet the requirements of the position. References should be included. Copies of certificates are not required at this stage.

Applications should be emailed to Courtney@nnf.org.na by 15 February 2016. More info can be found here.