Environmental trailblazers awarded Namibia’s first ever Sustainable Development Awards
Namibia’s first ever Sustainable Development Awards took place on the 13th May at the Nampower Convention Center.
The awards, a joint initiative of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council and the Environment Investment Fund of Namibia, were designed to honour outstanding efforts in promoting environmental sustainability and to recognise the achievements of close to 25 companies and individuals that answered a call for nominations across five categories, between September and November 2014.
A total amount of N$320,000 was disbursed to the overall winners and runner-ups across the different categories as follows:
1. Environmental Excellence amongst industry
- Winner: Ohorongo Cement (N$20,000)
- Runner up: Wolwedans Collection- Namibrand Safaris (N$10,000)
2. Natural Resources Management and Utilisation
- Winner: Ncumcara Community Forest (N$100,000)
- Runner up: Okongo Community Forest (N$50,000)
3. Thought leadership
- Winner: John Kasaona (N$30,000 to be donated to a charity of his choice)
4. Environmental Education for Sustainability
- Winner: Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (N$30,000)
- Runner up: Cheetah Conservation Fund (N$20,000)
5. Pioneering Journalists in the field of Sustainable Development
- Winner: Absalom Shigwedha (N$40,000)
- Runner up: Pearl Coetzee (N$20,000)
The event was used as an opportunity to highlight the importance of Namibia transitioning towards a greener economy. Speaking at the event, Dr. Malan Lindeque, Chairperson of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council, described how the need to conserve and protect the environment needs to be at the heart of we develop as a nation.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, drew attention to how Namibia should follow a type of industrialisation, which is socially inclusive, resource efficient and climate resilient. He specifically mentioned opportunities in areas of renewable energy, climate smart agriculture, eco-tourism, community-based natural resource management and the environmentally friendly management of waste. He also paid tribute to the EIF for reaching out and supporting communities and “green” entrepreneurs through its Green Soft Loan Scheme and other financial support mechanisms.
The Hon. Minister called on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council, which advises the Minister and promotes cooperation and coordination on issues of sustainable development, to play a support role in the country’s green economy transition.
It is envisaged that the Sustainable Development Awards will become an annual event on the Namibian calendar.