ACP-EU TO HOLD JOINT PARLIAMENTRAY ASSEMBLY IN WINDHOEK

The upcoming African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP)-European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly here next month offers an opportunity to showcase the great progress Namibia has made in conservation management.

About 350 Parliamentarians from 28 EU member countries and 79 ACP countries are expected to attend the 31st Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in the Namibian capital from June 13 to 15.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, told Nampa that Namibia will be sharing its experiences on conservancies management currently being promoted with great success.

Namibia is the first African country to incorporate environmental protection into its Constitution. The Namibian government gave its people the opportunity to manage natural resources through communal conservancies.

In co-operation with the government and non-profit organizations, these conservancies have worked to protect land and wildlife.

Today, more than 40 per cent of Namibia is under conservation management and the country is home to the world's largest cheetah population, as well as flourishing populations of lions, black rhinos, zebras and other native wildlife.

Regarding the issue of the EU contemplating banning trophy hunting, Katjavivi said the meeting is going to be an excellent opportunity to show parliaments the best way to deal with conservancies and sustainable development when it comes to wildlife.

The EU has put forward a draft resolution to tighten international rules with respect to trophy hunting. The ban includes species such as African lion, African elephant, southern white rhinoceros, cheetah, leopard, hippopotamus, argali sheep and the polar bear.

"In Namibia, I think we have moved on and we have got this example that we can show to demonstrate the fact that it is not wise to simply go for a kind of a blanket ban of trophy hunting," he said.

"The showcasing of experience in conservancies management will be done in a very constructive way by showing off positive ideas, so that we can at least help our colleagues understand and appreciate how Namibia has done it," Katjavivi stated.

Namibia will also share information on solar energy development and its potential. The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), in partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, will share experiences on how Namibia is doing in this regard.

Katjavivi also said there is a need for strategic thinking in terms of future co-operation between ACP and EU member States. The session will provide lawmakers an opportunity to start discussing the future of the ACP-EU partnership post-Cotonou.

The Cotonou Agreement was signed in June 2000 in Cotonou, Benin, by 78 ACP countries, except Cuba, and 15 EU member State and comes to an end in 2020.

The JPA session will, among other issues, discuss topics such as a continental free trade area for Africa; migration between ACP and EU member States; the impact of the drop in oil prices and other strategic commodities on the ACP economies; improving participatory governance through decentralisation and strengthening local governance; as well as the changing face of conflict and global security threats

Source: Nam News Network