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Climate Change Conference - Namibia interview

Cross-border conservation in southern Africa

Article published on the 2009-12-17 Latest update 2009-12-17 15:01 TU

The Namib desert in Namibia(Photo: Wikipedia)

The Namib desert in Namibia
(Photo: Wikipedia)

African nations have demanded commitment on reductions in global warming and help to poorer countries at the UN's Climate Change Conference. With the continent facing the worst effects of climate change, a Namibian official says the question is vital for his country.

Conservation is one of Namibia's "fundamental laws", says Teofilus Nghitila, the head of Environmental Affairs at Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

The nation became independent in 1990, at a time when concern for the planet was becoming a pressing issue, and was one of the first countries to subscribe to the conventions on the question. 

"The state is obligated to ensure that our environment is not compromised for the future generations", he told RFI in Copenhagen.

As well as subscribing to international accords, Namibia is also active in the region, according to Nghitila, promoting regional co-operation for "trans-boundary natural resource management", which involves neighbours, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and Angola.

A successful community-based natural resource management programme has meant that "we've been able to move, or translocate, wildlife from protected areas to communal areas". This, he says, allows for the restocking of areas that wildlife used to occupy.

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