Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi (middle) with French lawmakers, Hon. Guillaume Chevrollier (left) and Hon. Rachel Mazuir (right) who both belong to the France-Southern Africa parliament friendship group currently visiting the Namibian Parliament. France Ambassador to Namibia, H.E. Claire Bodonyi is on the extreme left
|Story by George Sanzila
Windhoek - A French member of Parliament, Hon. Guillaume Chevrollier has praised Namibia’s Community based natural resource management programme (CBNRM) for promoting sustainable growth. Chevrollier who is also president of the Parliament friendship group between France and Southern Africa is part of a delegation of two French lawmakers that includes Hon. Rachel Mazuir, currently visiting the Namibian Parliament to look at issues related to climate change such as agriculture, renewable energy and biodiversity.
Many rural people in Namibia have been lifted out of poverty through biodiversity conservation. In 1996 the government of Namibia amended the nature conservation ordinance to allow for rural communities to set up and register conservancies for the purpose of sustainable use of natural resources outside national parks through what is known as community based natural resource management (CBNRM). Over N$90 million is generated annually through conservancies.
He commended Namibia’s management of its natural resources when he met the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi today (25/09/2019). The French lawmaker stated that it was fascinating how Namibia has managed to elevate efforts to promote sustainable use of natural resources and coexistence between the environment and the community.
“We are very impressed with the management of conservancies and how it is benefiting communities. It is creating jobs and income for many people and in the process creating development and growth sustainably”, noted Chevrollier.
The lawmaker also proposed the creation of a French Namibia Parliamentary friendship group to look at issues of climate change more holistically.
Katjavivi was in agreement that Namibia’s flagship conservation programme has benefited both the environment and communities but cautioned that climate change had the potential to reverse the gains if mitigation measures are not hurriedly put in place. “If climate change is not properly addressed it may disrupt our achievements and the implementation of sustainable development goals. It is important that as parliament we work together to have mitigating measures that would have desirable results”, noted Katjavivi.
The Speaker who appealed for French partnership and expertise, further noted that issues of climate change required collaborative efforts. “As a member of the Inter Parliamentary Union, climate change is an important issue in Namibia, more so because we are an arid country. We congratulate France for championing climate change at a high level. We would love to tackle these issues through our parliamentary committees and we would very much love to partner with the French parliament and see how we can manage this situation”, said Hon. Katjavivi. The two lawmakers also visited the Chairperson of the National Council, Hon. Margaret Mensah Williams.