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Integrated regional land use plan for Oshana launched

Summary

Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, on Monday launched the integrated regional land plan for Oshana Region, aimed at creating an enabling environment for sustainable development without compromising future demands.While l…

Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, on Monday launched the integrated regional land plan for Oshana Region, aimed at creating an enabling environment for sustainable development without compromising future demands.

While launching the plan virtually on Monday, the minister said that land has become a scarce resource with many competing activities depending on it, such as agricultural production, human settlement, economic activities and environmental conservation. Therefore, all these activities must be accommodated sustainably for the next generations to inherit healthy and vibrant environments, and this can only be achieved through land use plans.

He said integrated regional land use planning is an orderly or methodological assessment of current land uses and its potential for the purpose of allocating such land to the most suitable and desired land use options in a particular area. This is also a means of balancing current and potential future competing land use practices, as well as the various risks associated with the practices.

“Through planning we are ensuring that land uses are optimal, assessing which of the various land uses are offering the best potential for the region. Land use planning aims at creating an enabling environment for sustainable development without compromising the future demands and needs of the people of this region now and in the future. This process involves the improvement of physical, socio-economic, institutional potential and constraints with respect to an optimal and sustainable use of land resources,” said Schlettwein.

He added that it is a known fact that countries that have clear plans on the utilisation of their natural resources are likely to attract good investments, while at the same time land related conflicts are prevented. That is why Namibia has chosen to be such a country that promotes sustainable development through the development of clear land use plans, and there is already a comprehensive land reform plan in place of which integrated regional land plans are an important component.

“The ministry is embarking upon this project at a backdrop of a dwindling natural resources base whereupon the needs of our growing population rest. Essentially, natural resources such as land and water are declining both in quantity and quality due to factors such as climate change, industrial competition, increased rural and urban demands, degradation and pollution,” stated Schlettwein.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency