Biodiversity in action

Enthusiastic participants of the National Biodiversity Action Day seen here on top of a dune with the official banner. (Photograph by Hilma Hashange)Last week, Namibia was one of two countries that celebrated Biodiversity Action Day. This year, the celebrations which included tours in the Namib Desert, were held at the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre situated in the Namib Naukluft Park. The theme for this year’s National Biodiversity Action Day is “Biodiversity and Climate Change.
The Biodiversity Action Day celebration is a worldwide initiative developed by GEO Magazine in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). This year the event has been organized by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, through its Department of Environmental Affairs and in collaboration with the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre.
According to the Executive Director at the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre, Dr. Gillian Maggs-Kölling, the importance of celebrating Biodiversity Action Day lies in the fact that about 70% of the population directly depends on natural resources for income, food, health, fuel and shelter. She said the basis of the Namibian economy is formed by natural resource sectors such as mining, fishing, agriculture and tourism; hence it is important for the country to participate in the global initiative of celebrating the conservation of biodiversity.