“Restoring Namibia’s Rangelands”
The National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategy (NRMPS) was signed by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Minister Mutorwa, on 04 September 2012. In the preface, the Minister states:
“The lives and livelihoods of many people throughout Namibia are threatened by land degradation. Rangeland is a natural resource that sustains the majority of our farming communities. These resources are the corner stone of the agricultural sector. However, the impact of our current resource use is such that the chances of future generations to have access to their fair share of scarce resources are endangered. The demand for food, and therefore for agricultural land, is and will also rise sharply as the world’s population rises and people’s diets contain more protein of animal origin” and goes on to say:
“The key to increasing income and reducing poverty is to enhance agricultural production at farm and household level in a sustainable manner. In order to achieve the sustainable management of our rangelands, awareness and education concerning the benefits and application of best rangeland management practices need to be extended to all. Ensuring sustainable utilization and rangeland restoration requires both individual and collective efforts. I therefore call upon all stakeholders to rededicate their efforts in putting this Rangeland Policy and Strategy-document to effective practical use”.
The Rangeland Coordination Unit (RCU), which is tasked with the implementation of the NRMPS, took office on 01 April 2015 and is scheduled to implement the policy and strategy until 31 March 2019. The Coordination Unit is funded by the European Union and Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. Furthermore, the RCU works closely with other rangeland stakeholders in Namibia, in order to achieve the greatest impact possible with regard to the implementation of the NRMPS. The partners of the RCU include, but are not limited to, the NNFU, the NECFU, the NAU, CAN, and Agra.
The goal of the NRMPS is “to empower rangeland managers and users to use their rangeland resources in such a way that animal production and profit is optimized whilst rangeland productivity is improved”. With that in mind, the RCU is working towards creating a framework of good rangeland management practices that will extend beyond the lifespan of the RCU and help secure the sustainable development of Namibia’s rangelands for generations to come.
To read the full National Rangeland Policy and Strategy follow this link.
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