The Namib Naukluft landscape Photo: Jenman Safaris

 

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism and UNDP Namibia today officially launched the Namibia Integrated Landscape Approaches for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance to Eradicate Poverty (NILALEG) project. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with support from UNDP Namibia.

NILALEG is designed to promote an integrated landscape management approach that assimilates key agricultural and forest landscapes sustainable practices. Thereby the project aims to reduce poverty through sustainable nature-based livelihoods, protect and restore forests as carbon sinks, and promote Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).

The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Honourable Pohamba Shifeta stated that the project is testimony to Namibia’s commitment to have a positive impact on the livelihoods of its people. “The majority of the funding for this project will be allocated to initiatives and interventions that support on-the-ground actions”, he stated. The project intends to support the implementation of unique integrated and sustainable landscape management approaches in five focal landscapes: Omaoipanga, Ruacana, Okongo, Nkulivere and Zambezi. The NILALEG project is designed to benefit a total of 20,818 beneficiaries, half of which will be women.

 

Stakeholders hold up green peppers in a community garden in one of the NILALEG focal sites

 

Pinned to UNDP’s corporate strategic plan and the 4th signature solution which focuses on promoting nature-based solutions for a sustainable planet, this project will seek to achieve a significant reduction in deforestation rates. This will be done while enhancing agricultural productivity, biodiversity conservation, sustainable management of natural resources and the income of small-scale food producers living in these landscapes.

Speaking at the launch event, UNDP Namibia’s Deputy Resident Representative Dr Armstrong Alexis noted that the NILALEG project directly contributes to the 15th Sustainable Development Goal, which deals with Life on Earth. “This goal seeks to take immediate and substantial steps to eliminate natural habitat destruction, stop biodiversity loss and, by 2023, protect and avoid the extinction of endangered species” he stated.

The project is well aligned with Namibia’s Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), and the Third Pillar of the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF) 2019-2023, which focuses on Environmental Sustainability. Furthermore, the project took into consideration the principle of Leaving No One Behind and targets vulnerable groups and beneficiaries, the marginalized groups, women, the youth and persons with disabilities. The project worth USD 10 million is expected to run until 2025.

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