Five members of the Budgetary Committee of the German Federal Parliament (the “Bundestag”) visited Namibia from 24 to 26 February 2019. The Members of Parliament were accompanied by a high-ranking delegation. Thematic focus of the visit was forest protection, sustainable forest management, bioeconomy and private sector entrepreneurship.
The delegation first travelled to Rundu in North Eastern Namibia. They visited the Ncumcara community forest to learn more about the achievements and challenges of forest protection, sustainable management of the forest and the generation of additional income for the community members.
In Tsumeb district the delegation got first-hand information on the economic and ecological damage of bush encroachment on pasture land and on possibilities to turn bush encroachment into an economic opportunity and make it a viable resource for business. The delegation visited bush thinning activities at a farm and the process of producing wood chips of OBI headed by Mr Heiko Meier. The German Government is supporting a programme to introduce innovative and climate-friendly technology for both bush thinning and biomass utilization.
In Otavi, the delegation visited Ohorongo Cement where Mr Tobias Konzmann presented bush utilisation for thermal energy. The company attaches great importance to energy efficiency and the utilization of renewable energy. Its sister company “Energy for Future” supplies wood chips as alternative source of energy for the cement factory.
Furthermore, the delegation visited the Makarra Bush Factory in Otjiwarongo owned by Mr Michael von Hacht and met representatives of the Namibia Charcoal Association (NCA). The charcoal sector has so far generated the largest demand for bush material and employs more than 6,000 people. The NCA is a non-profit association and supports the initiatives and operation of its stakeholders stated the Chairperson, Mr Gunter Schwalm.
It is committed to environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial production of charcoal, to increase income of the rural population, sustainable production and high-quality exports. The German Government is supporting the development of this important sector.
Mr Progress Kashandula of the De-bushing Advisory Service accompanied the delegation on their three-day field visit in Namibia.
After Namibia, the delegation headed to South Africa.
Photo: Delegation together with representatives of Namibia Charcoal Association, GIZ Bush Control Project, GIZ Lands Project and Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry pictured at Makarra Charcoal Processing Factory, Otjiwarongo District.
Original Press Release by German Embassy Windhoek