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University of Namibia (2009)

Policies related to biodiversity

Moses Alex A. T.

Titre : Policies related to biodiversity

Auteur : Moses Alex A. T.

Université de soutenance : University of Namibia

Grade : Master of Arts (Geography) 2009

Attention to the implementation of policies related to biodiversity in Namibia can improve the sustainable use of natural resources in terms of environmental sustainability and empowerment of resource users. This study investigates policies related to biodiversity within the Namibian legislative framework. The specific objectives of this study were to make an assessment of the appropriateness of these policies in general ; to investigate the level of understanding of these policies among people from selected local communities ; and to get specific opinions and perceptions on these policies from policy makers The study provides a synthesis of recent literature, including primary biodiversity research, government legislation, international guidelines and other relevant scientific references. Biodiversity is highly hypothesized. The literature review revealed that the loss of world biodiversity is occurring at an unprecedented rate and its loss is partly already irreversible and is closely linked to non-sustainable development practices. Six Namibian policies related to biodiversity were analysed : Environmental Assessment Policy (1994) ; National Agriculture Policy (1995) ; National Land Policy (1998) ; National Water Policy White Paper (2000) ; National Forestry Policy (2001) ; and Namibia’s Aquaculture Policy (2001). The analysis was largely conducted as a desktop study of available literature relevant to these policies and by means of SWOT analysis. The results show that Namibia has developed a number of policies related to biodiversity but there is a lack of implementation strategies Interviews were held with policy makers to determine their perceptions of biodiversity policies. The results show that the policy makers’ have a fairly broad understanding of the policies related to biodiversity. The study suggests that policy makers should adopt participatory approaches during the process of making policy to involve those who will be directly affected by policies related to biodiversity. To determine local perspectives on policies related to biodiversity, interviews with local communities in two rural areas of the Kavango and Omusati Regions were conducted. The fieldwork method was strongly based on the local communities’ knowledge of their own local situation and build upon on their understanding of policies related to biodiversity The results from the interviews show that the majority of interviewees in rural communities are aware of the existence of the mentioned policies, or at least their associated legislation and regulations, but have very little knowledge and understanding of policies themselves. The study emphasizes that the local communities’ understanding of policies related to biodiversity is essential. The underlying importance of local communities is two-fold : The community members are the key for the implementation of policies related to biodiversity at the grassroots level and, with high dependence on natural resources, they are the primary beneficiaries of biodiversity. The main challenge is to ensure that people in local communities have a better understanding of the implications of biodiversity policies. Moreover, a better understanding may ensure that the existing policies have a real influence in guiding the sustainable management and use of biodiversity and natural resources in the country, especially in rural, populated regions.The critique of biodiversity policies, alongside the analysis of perspectives held by decision makers and representatives from the two rural communities in northern Namibia demonstrate that progress has been made to develop policies and programmes for biodiversity in Namibia. However, much more effort is required to ensure that these policies do not remain solely good ideas on paper. However, the study concludes that much more effort is required to ensure that all policies related to biodiversity are in fact implemented.

Mots clés : Biological diversity — Biological diversity policy — National agriculture policy — Water policy — Marine biological diversity — Forest biological diversity — Agrobiodiversity


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Page publiée le 27 mars 2015, mise à jour le 16 février 2018