Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said Saturday that deforestation and degradation are on the rise in the semi-arid nation.
Speaking at the country’s commemoration of Arbor Day, Shifeta said unsustainable land use practices such as slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging and urban development threaten to strip away the country’s forest cover.
These activities not only result in loss of biodiversity but also contribute to carbon emissions and soil erosion, Shifeta said, adding that forest degradation is another concern driven by selective logging, fuelwood collection and invasive species.
“These issues not only impact our natural ecosystems but also jeopardize the long-term sustainability of our forests,” he said, adding that to address these challenges, the ministry has been diligently researching ways to propagate native tree species, making them accessible for community members to plant and grow.
Shifeta called on all Namibians to take collective responsibility to protect and restore forests, encouraging tree planting and nurturing not only in individual surroundings but also in communities across the nation.