22 May 2011
Biodiversity Action day is held annually worldwide to commemorate the International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May. The day is about raising public awareness of the links between biodiversity and sustainable human development.
In good spirit of the day, hundreds gathered at the Okongo community forest at Omauni village in the Ohangwena Region for Namibia’s 2011 Biodiversity Action Day.
Addressing the crowd, the Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the Biodiversity Action Day is an important initiative of her ministry and its partners aimed at drawing attention to the value of ecosystems. The overall objective of the day is in line with the ministry’s vision and mission to promote biodiversity conservation in the Namibian environment through the sustainable utilization of natural resources, she added. She also underlined that the MET promotes the sustainable utilization of natural resources and tourism development for the maximum social and economic benefit of citizens. Besides the aforementioned she further highlighted that MET as well promotes and encourages the sustainable use and management of the country’s forests and other natural resources through a cooperative Community Based Natural Resources’ Management (CBNRM) programme.
Information sharing on the management of forests and conservancies by community-based committees play a part in the commemoration of the day at Omauni, while some of the observers also took field trips to explore the meaning of biodiversity.
Okongo was preferred to be the host of this year’s Biodiversity Action day because of its two community forest management projects at Omauni and Omufitu Wekuta, as well as the Okongo conservancy.
Namibia’s Biodiversity Action Day was launched and observed in 2010 for the first time at Brandberg in the Tsiseb conservancy in the Erongo Region.