Our future is in our hands, lets act now before it is too late to protect the environment against climate change. “Climate, Security, Food and Water” can be described as the backbone of life. This resonates well with the Climate Action for Millennials Program (CAMP) 2nd intake. It is universally recognized that youths are the future leaders, policy makers and vanguard of tomorrow. It is for this reason that the CAMP program was developed to train recent university graduates to become ambassadors of climate change and advocates of the environmental protection through the implementation of SDG goals.
This intensive science-based training for the second intake started from the 07-20 September 2021 at Gobabeb Namib Research Institute. Thanks be to Gobabeb for hosting the trainees and providing the training to the graduates in various climate changes topics such as on adaptation and mitigation of climate change issues. UNDP support in providing funding through the Sustainable Environmental Management and Enhance Resilience to Shocks and Crisis (SEMER) portfolio and Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) for being a reliable stakeholder. CAMP 2nd intake was based on the theme “Climate, Food security and Water” to enable participants to acquire knowledge and skills that will address climate change issues which has become a global subject. During CAMP training, participants received insightful lectures presentations from various academicians, corporate leaders, and researcher gurus.
The environment portfolio for UNDP Namibia Country Office known as the SEMER portfolio under the leadership of a women whose name is synonyms to environmental management Martha Talamondjila Naanda was introduced to the graduates on the 18th of September 2021. The portfolio hosts different environmental project and interventions , to name but a few: Climate Promise, Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency ( CBIT), Biennial Update Reports (BURs) and National Communication (NCs), Human Wildlife Conflict and Wildlife Crime (HWC-WC), Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem(BCLME III), Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance to Eradicate Poverty (NILALEG) and Enhanced water security and community resilience in the adjacent Cuvelai and Kunene transboundary river basins (CUVKUN). With these projects there no doubts that the SDGs will not be achieved in Namibia through the support of UNDP.
MEFT delivered a presentation on legal framework that guides Namibia towards environmental sustainability and development. The presentation described how Namibia is committed to environmental protection as well sustainable development by ratifying to convention responsible for environmental safety. During these presentations the participants were so active asking questions, the presentation hall was so live, and this demonstrated that they are interested and eager to make the change out there by addressing issues contributing to the effect of climate change.
The CAMP second intake of 13 participants whereby 9 were women and 4 were men, was a success given its unique approach to training young environmental advocates. UNDP want to keep track of all the CAMP graduate as this will enable the SEMER portfolio to track its contribution towards environmentally sustainable development through intensive training program of this kind. Overall, UNDP Namibia is excited for the support from MEFT and partnership with Gobabeb Namib Research Institute for good collaboration. The participants prepared outreach products such as posters which are designed to create awareness and enhance the advocacy to climate change issues. The participants demonstrated a good understanding and the need to transfer knowledge to secondary school learners in their hometowns.
Hard work pays off, therefore, all graduates were rewarded with certificate of participation that should serve as proof that they are ambassadors of the environment. During the handover ceremony that was done jointly by UNDP, MEFT and Gobabeb Research Institute our own Mekondjo Hitila Programme Associate from UNDP who is also an Alumni of Gobabeb handed over the certificate to the graduates. In her teary-eyed concluding remarks Dr. Gillian thanked UNDP and MEFT for their continuous support to the cause of sustainable development in Namibia and globally. She urged the graduates to be true ambassadors of the environment and thanked them for their commitment and hard work. “Go out there and safe the planet!” remarked Dr. Gillian. Watch this space for the CAMP!