6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where we are?

 girl washing at a well
San girl washing her feet at a well. Photo - UNDP

The targets for MDG 7 are to: integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources; reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss; halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation; and by 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. Progress to date includes three of these being met, two on target to be met and three not on target. Namibia has already achieved the targets to provide safe drinking water to urban (99 percent) and rural dwellers (90 percent), and to have 19.4 percent (against the targeted 15 percent for 2015) of land coverage in 2013 as communal conservancy areas. Namibia is on track to have 20 percent of land coverage as state protected and 5 percent as community forest areas.

However, the target of halving the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation has not and will not be achieved by 2015. Related to this is a failure to meet targets for access to secure urban land tenure for poor people. Appropriate policies are in place but these need accelerated implementation. The constraints to environmental sustainability include slow implementation of the Water and Sanitation Policy (WASP) and a skills deficit to ensure access to basic sanitation, insecure access to land and tenure, slow and politicised efforts in conservation of fish resources, slow implementation of the Concessions Policy, environmental damage caused by mining, less than optimal use and management of groundwater, and slow promotion of good rangeland management and conservation farming.

Recommendations for the period until 2015 include speedy implementation of WASP, addressing the skills deficit for sanitation provision, ensuring secure access to land and tenure, rebuilding the pilchard ocean stock, seizing the opportunity to exploit Namibia’s diverse wildlife and scenic landscape for tourism, ensuring environmentally sensitive extraction of natural resources, sustainably managing the demand for and use of Namibia’s underground water resources, and pursuing implementation of incentives for the promotion of sustainable rangeland management and conservation farming.

Status at a glance

MDG 7: ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Areas protected to maintain biological diversity as percentage of all land

    State protected areas

12.5% (1995)

18.3% (2011)

20.0%

On track

    Communal conservancies

0.0% (1995)

19.4% (2013)

15.0%

Achieved

    Freehold land conservancies

5.0% (1990)

6.0 (2012)

10.0%

Not on target

    Community forests

0.0% (2003)

4.0% (2012)

5.0%

On track

Proportion of households with access to safe drinking water (%)

    Urban

99% (2003)

99% (2010)

100%

Achieved

    Rural

78% (2003)

90% (2010)

87%

Achieved

Proportion of households with access to basic sanitation (%)

    Urban

59% (2003)

57% (2010)

98%

Not on target

    Rural

14% (2003)

17% (2010)

65%

Not on target

1.11 years
remaining
until 2015

1990 2015
Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums