Namibia loses nearly 20 percent of forest in last 30 years

Namibia has lost nearly 20 percent of its forest area during the past 30 years as a result of unsustainable use of resources, a government official said Wednesday.

To contain the loss, Namibia is pondering introducing a provision in its law that will compel everyone who harvests vegetation to plant more, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta told a national conference in Windhoek, the capital.

The theme of the conference was: “The Future of Namibia’s Forests – Sustainable forest management as key to unlocking its potential.”

“With only eight years remaining to reach our 2030 target as set out in the revised ‘Nationally Determined Contribution,’ Namibia is taking concrete actions to reduce the impacts of climate change,” the minister said.

“This noble endeavor cannot be left to the government alone,” he said, imploring all stakeholders to contribute to meeting this target.

He said forests do not only play a major role in mitigating climate change in southern Africa and the rest of the developing world, but most people depend on forest products for their livelihoods.

“We must, therefore, take urgent actions to reverse the rate at which deforestation is taking place and aggressively embark on reforestation and afforestation programs,” Shifeta said.

He said Namibia remains committed to reversing forest loss by reducing deforestation and promoting tree planting, even though Namibia is one of the driest countries in southern Africa.