The Sustainable Development award recognizes the outstanding contributions made by Namibians in the field of sustainable development. This year the awards targeted the private sector and SMEs, community level natural resource management and utilization initiatives, research and development, youth action for sustainable development, pioneering journalism in the field of sustainable development, green banks, school in action for sustainable development, women in action for sustainable development and thought leadership.
Hosted under the theme “accelerating the green economy transformation as we recover from Covid-19” Delivering the Keynote address, Minister of Environment, Tourism and Forestry, Pohamba Shifeta spoke about decline of tourism in Namibia by 87%. “This overnight collapse has translated into a massive loss of over 1 000 jobs, with the closure of many tourism-related businesses. At the broader level, Government has been affected by a sharp decline in foreign exchange and tax revenues, which has further curbed public spending capacity and our ability to deploy the measures necessary to support livelihoods through this crisis” he said. “The transition to a greener economy, based on the most efficient and sustainable use of our natural resources, offers us the opportunity to move out of this crisis and towards a nation that is food, water and energy secure. This will have the knock-on benefits of enhancing climate change resilience, creating decent employment opportunities and reducing income inequality. It is for this reason that the accelerating the green economy transition is key to our development as a nation” he further added.
Speaking at the event and sharing the overview of the Sustainable Development Awards was Mrs. Gloria Simubali, Chairperson of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council who said “These Awards fits directly to this mandate and the awards seek to reach out to all sectors of society active in promoting sustainable development across the country, including organs of state, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, the private sector and funding agencies.
Welcoming the nominees and those in attendance was Mr. Benedict Libanda, the Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia who highlighted that the awards have grown since the first awards were held in 2015. Mr. Libanda further denoted that in total the organizing committee had received 74 applications in total for this third edition of the awards and encouraged all the winners and nominees to continue to lead with deep convictions in the race against the developmental challenges we face today.
In closing of the Ceremony, the Chairperson of the EIF Board, Mr. Titus Ndove, thanked the Keynote speaker and all those that contributed to successful third hosting of the awards. The chairperson finally extended a special message of gratitude to the sponsors who made the third hosting possible.
During the night, 10 a total of ten men and woman received awards in respective categories that they were nominated in:
The winners include:
- Private Sector Champions for Sustainable Development with 3 sub-categories for start-ups, Small and Medium Enterprises as well as established companies
Start-ups: Paver Plast
SME: Ebikes 4 Africa
Established Companies: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
- Community level natural resource management and utilization initiatives
- Research and Development to reward outstanding pieces of research or innovations in the field of sustainable development
Professor Daniel Likius (University of Namibia)
- Youth Action for Sustainable Development, which focuses on youth leadership and initiatives in the area of sustainable development
Ms. Toini Amutenya
- Pioneering journalism in the field of sustainable development, which will reward outstanding performance in the areas of best print media, best social media, best radio and best television
Best Television: Mr. Lesley Tjiueza
Best Print: Mr. Absalom Tjiueza
Best Radio: Mr. David Bishop
- Women and Environment
Ms. Agnes Tjirare
- Sustainable Schools
Ediva Primary School – Public School
Private School Swakopmund – Private School
- Green Financial Services/Institution
- Thought Leadership
Dr. Mary Seely
The award ceremony was held on Friday 21 May at the Safari Hotel and Conference Center. It featured performances by PDK, Adora, Ronaldo the Violinist, Gretel Coetzee and Kalux.
About the awards:
The Awards intend to recognize the importance of integrating sustainability into the core of business and industry as well as the daily lives of Namibians from all walks of life. The sponsors for the awards include First National Bank of Namibia, Agribank of Namibia and Namibia Wildlife Resorts and BDO. The aim of the Sustainable Development Award is to identify and reward institutions including individuals who have demonstrated leadership, innovation and excellence in environmentally friendly practices, while encouraging performance of best sustainability practices.
The Sustainable Development Awards was first held in 2015 and was based on a joint idea of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia and Sustainable Development Advisory Council. It was planned to be hosted every two years and a subsequent second edition of the awards was held in 2017. The third edition of the awards was delayed for a number of reasons but was finally held on 21st May 2021.