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Namibia commits to gazette its exclusive economic zone protected as a marine area

President Hage Geingob

President Hage Geingob has told the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Economy that Namibia is committed to ensuring that at least 10 per cent of its Exclusive Economic Zone is gazetted as a marine protected area by 2020.

The High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy consists of 12 heads of government and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean.

Formed in 2018 in New York, the panel assesses the value of Ocean goods and services in economic planning and support the sustainable use of ocean resources.

Addressing members of the panel Monday in New York, Geingob also said currently, Namibia’s entire coastal belt is gazetted as national parks that include three coastal sites; namely the Walvis Bay lagoon, sandwich harbour and the Orange River mouth, which are protected.

Geingob further said Namibia’s marine waters that are less than 200 meters deep are protected from most commercial fishing activities, as they are breeding grounds for fish.

Namibia, Geingob said, is one of the countries with potential for wind power generation globally, especially around the coastal town of Lüderitz.

“In this regard, Namibia is committed to generating approximately 144MW additional wind power, by 2022,” he said.

According to Geingob, Namibia is in the final stages of the ratification of Annex 6 of the MARPOL Convention (Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships), which includes 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gasses emissions from ships by 2050, in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s [IMO] Agreement.

“Namibia is committed to increasing national per capita fish consumption to the global average of 20.4 kg by 2020. We have already increased per capita national fish consumption from 4kg in 2014 to current 15.4 kg in 2018. All regions in Namibia have access to affordable fish,” the president also said.

He added that Namibia has committed an additional US$5 million towards ocean research and protection during the 2019/2020 financial year. This includes US$2.3 million to facilitate research on oceans, especially on fisheries stocks and marine ecosystem, and a further US$2.7 million to intensify the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and improve ocean governance,” he explained.

In addition, Geingob said, Namibia, Angola and South Africa, together with development partners, have committed US$3.8 million for maritime research activities under the Benguela Current Convention (BCC) for 2019/2020 financial year.

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Wonder Guchu

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