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Director of Ceremonies,
Governor of the Kavango East region; Honorable Bonifatius Wakudumo
Honorable Councilor of Rundu Rural Constituency: Honorable Paulus Mbangu;
The Executive Director of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Mr. Theofilius Nghitila;
Staff members of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia;
Distinguished guests;
Members of the media;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is my distinct pleasure to be with all of you here today to officially handover again one successful climate change project entitled “Unleashing the potential of Climate Change Strategy for Likwaterera Community Forest”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The official handover of this Project is a further landmark moment in our quest to ensure sustainable natural resource management as well as an integral part of national efforts to eradicate poverty in our country.

Climate change is recognized as one of the greatest global challenges of our time and we are fully aware that Namibia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects and impacts of climate change. Climate change has the potential to undermine our economic development, particularly the natural resource-based sectors of our economy such as the agriculture, environment, and fisheries sectors.

Kavango East region has a diverse agricultural potential, and this include sustainable forest utilization and agroforestry practice to enhance better livelihood of our people. The Project being handed over today is one of the unique farming practices and encouraging the adaptation of resilient farming innovation amongst our society.

Director of Ceremony,

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism is fast moving with the implementation of the Access to Biological and Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge Act No. 2 of 2017. The Act calls on Parties to respect, preserve and maintain the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities; promote their wider application with their holder's approval and involvement; and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization. Namibia crafted the law on Access and Benefit Sharing and Related Traditional Knowledge with determination to help with the functionalization of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Director of Ceremony,

I am delighted that the Community in Kavango East region are still keen on using natural resources, biodiversity and traditional knowledge to improve their livelihood. The exportation of moringa products beyond the Continent demonstrates relevance and importance of traditional knowledge and mostly the international recognition of our locally produced products. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that calls for a fair and equitable benefit sharing arising the commercial utilisation of genetic resources and
related traditional knowledge, is being implemented at community level, and it’s here in Kavango East region, at Likwaterera Community Forest.

Moringa oleifera also known as “tree of life,” and “miracle tree” is one of the most nutritious plants in the world. It has a wide range of nutritional and bioactive compounds, making this plant a powerful Antioxidants from plant-based sources such as moringa powder that are considered best. It should not surprise us that this product finds its market share in the European market, lets continue to increase its production and domesticate the plant for more foreign earning.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am so proud to learn that the community in Likwaterera area sees an opportunity to diversify their farming practice and not only rely on rainfed production but sees opportunities for a paradigm shift and actually produced one of the most international recognized plants, the Moringa oleifera due to its medicinal, nutritional and other benefits. The Likwaterera moringa plantation demonstrates the potential in effectively addressing issues of unemployment, foreign earning and build momentum for sustainable economic growth in our country.

Ladies and Gentlemen!!

The “Unleashing the potential of Climate Change Strategy for Likwaterera Community Forest” is funded by the Environmental Investment Fund and being implemented by the Likwaterera Community Forest in Kavango East region. The project focused on scaling up the organic production of the Moringa oleifera as a form of diversification of livelihoods and sustainable community development.

At this juncture, a ten-hector piece of land is fenced off, with five hectors under moringa plantation. In addition, the project has successfully constructed a moringa processing warehouse, installed five times 10 000-liter water tanks, and procured animal feed processing machine to benefit this project.

Furthermore, the project has directly benefited a total of 60 households by establishing backyard moringa plantation at their respective household for them to supply and supplement moringa harvest at the main plantation hub. It is to my understanding that, the moringa plantation site under this project has obtained international certification standard allowing the produced moringa product to access the European market and generate income for Likwaterera Community.

As I conclude, I would like to single out this specific project as one of the best innovation interventions in the country and its potential to contribute to national economic growth goes without say. It is important that we deploy a paradigm shift mechanism to fight the impact of climate change, and I encourage other Community Based Organization to join Government in supporting such efforts.

To the Traditional Authority, your unwavering support and leadership in the society is well appreciated, lets join effort to make our society a better place. I wish you the best as you continue with the implementation of this project.

Thank you.