Namibia increases land restoration program amid drought

WINDHOEK, 6 JUNE (Xinhua) – Namibia has increased its land restoration program to combat desertification and improve drought resistance.

The country celebrated World Environment Day, which was held on 5 June, under the theme “Land Restoration and Drought Resistant”.

Namibia, which declared a drought emergency recently, has launched a research program and a training program in order to increase the production of drought resistant plants and trees, especially in the areas most affected by drought.

Pohamba Shifeta, the Minister of MEFT in an interview with Xinhua said that land restoration programs were mainly being scaled-up in rural areas because livelihoods depend on the land.

He said that the ministry works with communities to develop drought-resilience programs, such as sustainable harvesting activities for forestry, in order to protect their livelihoods from drought and climate changes.

Shifeta noted that the country had already banned exports of semi-finished and non-finished forest products in order to promote sustainable harvesting and processing of forestry goods.

The MEFT is also accelerating the program of reforestation by producing seedlings resistant to drought, which are then distributed in communities across different regions.

Shifeta stressed the importance of using nurseries in the country, especially in rural areas and in urban settings such as schools and institutions, to produce seedlings.

He called for an expedited program to produce millions of seedlings annually. He stressed that Namibia has an arid climate and it is important to plant drought-resistant trees. These seedlings should have a survival rate of 85 percent, as opposed to the usual 50 percent because of water scarcity.

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