Officials from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa met in Pretoria, South Africa this week to agree on first steps towards the sustainable land management of the Molopo-Nossob river basin. The meeting focused on the implementation arrangements for the Kalahari –Namib project being implemented by IUCN in collaboration with the three countries and with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The meeting brought together government officials from the three countries at both national and local levels. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Mohamed Sessay, Senior Program Manager at UNEP noted that the project addresses land degradation issues in the basin and focuses on the improvement of the livelihoods through integrated management of natural resources such as land and water. “Being a transboundary project, it will offer considerable potential to build on the strengths of each country and establish long-lasting regional development linkages,” says Sessay.
IUCN Drylands Coordinator, Jonathan Davies, outlined the activities of the project which include community-based pilot demonstration of best practices and improved decision making by policy makers, communities and institutions. The project will also support income generating activities through provision of grants for sustainable community enterprises.
“This project gives us an opportunity to strengthen integrated planning for sustainable natural resource management” noted Davis. “This means integration across international borders, but also integration between sectors that don’t typically collaborate closely.”
The meeting involved officials from the Department of Environmental and Water Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from South Africa; Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism from Botswana; and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism from Namibia. Botswana and South Africa are State members of IUCN and Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism is a government agency member.
For more information, please contact Jonathan Davies on firstname.lastname@example.org +254 202493561