In-depth

girl with water bucketSan girl at a water well. Photo - UNDP

The Energy & Environment (E&E) Unit is committed to the protection of Namibia’s environment, taking into account the pressing environmental issues as well as the national environmental challenges. The overall goal for the unit is in line with MDG 7: Ensuring Namibia’s Environmental Sustainability and the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP 4): Promoting sustainable utilisation of Namibia’s renewable and non-renewable natural resources. UNDP Namibia has strengthened its capacity to deal with environmental issues significantly in the past years with creation of the E&E Unit. The E&E Unit strives to mainstream environment in development activities in order to ensure their sustainability through policy dialogues and by creating awareness at all levels of the society. Aligning the UNDP Namibia Country Office initiatives to the National and UNDP Corporate Bodies, the unit has ‘energy and environment for sustainable development’ as its foundation. In close co-operation and partnership with both national and local governments, NGOs, Private Sector and civil society it supports programmes and projects in the following four areas:

  • Mainstreaming environment and energy;
  • Mobilizing environmental financing;
  • Promoting mitigation and adaptation to climate change;
  • Expanding access to environmental and energy services for the poor.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management

Why Focus on Environment?

hand holding applesFruit picking during harvest season on a farm. Photo - UNDP

Poor people depend disproportionately on the environment for their livelihoods. Despite growing attention to environmental issues over the last two decades, insufficient progress has been made in integrating environment issues into national development priorities and financing those priorities. Namibia faces severe environmental constraints and uncertainties; which if not properly addressed will prove to be an impediment to the attainment of national development goals. The inherent linkages of poverty reduction and proper environmental management need special attention given that persistent droughts and recurrent floods in the country continue to catalyse emergency situations. The environment is a legacy, and it is an important cornerstone of Namibia’s economy, a source of food and a source of empowerment to many people, mostly the rural poor. It should therefore be protected and managed effectively. Recognising that environment is intrinsically inter-linked with addressing socio-cultural and economic issues, our support aims to strengthen national capacities to manage the environment in a sustainable manner while ensuring adequate protection of the poor.

How Do We Work?

boy planting tree on worl environment day 2013A primary school boy planting tree on world environment day 2013. Photo - UNDP

UNDP works in close collaboration and partnership with arrange of partners, including the government of the Republic of Namibia, Non-Governmental Organisations, local communities, regional economic blocks, bilateral/ multilateral donors and development partners to ensure that issues of environmental concerns are supported and mainstream. In addition, UNDP support Namibia to meet all of its commitments to international conventions, for example, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). UNDP also works at both the national and local level to enhance institutional capacities, raise environmental awareness, provide policy-related and strategic advices, offer technical support, and develop environmental sound poverty reduction projects. UNDP’s mandate for the E&E Unit is based upon Article 95 (l) of the Namibian Constitution; which sets the stage for the formulation of policies and legislation that aim at safeguarding the country’s natural resources heritage for the benefit of current and future generations. To achieve these ambitious Constitutional objectives, both institutional and individual capacities in Namibia will need to be strengthened to realise environmental management for sustainable development.