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Public Discussion on ’How to add value to Namibian Forest products’

Picture9 Public Discussion

On the 2nd of August 2023, the ‘Namibia Sustainable Forest Management’ (NSFM) Project hosted a public discussion at Goethe Institute in Windhoek. The discussion was aimed at shedding light on how to add value to Namibian forests products in terms of sustainable forest management as the key to unlocking its potential from different perspectives. The event was attended by different forestry stakeholders from the public and private sector, NGOs, and various institutions.

The event was moderated by Ms Doufi Namalambo. The welcoming remarks were given by the Executive Director of the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), Dr Martin Schneider, who informed the participants about the ongoing execution of the project by both implementing entities, the DRFN as well as the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF). He elaborated on the support of the EU and their role in safeguarding the Namibia’s natural resources particularly for the future generations.

All Panellists introduced themselves by briefly elaborating about the core business of their respective work and products. Mr Leroy Diocotlhe (Miombo Forestry Products) informed the participants about his sawmill and products he is manufacturing. He also mentioned how his company was established and how he managed to gain contracts from government to manufacture furniture for schools.

Mr Andrew Damba (Royal Honey) talked about his honey production company from the Zambezi Region and elaborated about how he established bee keeping and honey production in the KAZA regions. Ms Paulina Iita (Oyetu Naturals) introduced her company which is involved in the production of facial and cosmetic products made from indigenous plants from the KAZA-regions. She also shared her experiences on how to manufacture cosmetic products from plant products with the audience.

Last but not least, Mr Michael Degé (Namibia Charcoal Association) introduced the work of the charcoal business in Namibia and emphasized the importance of products such as biochar and feed supplements from certain plants for farmers.

After the statements by the panellists, the moderator invited all guests to engage with the panellists by asking questions. This was done by several discussion intervals and focused on the various subjects such as harvesting and production of honey with beehives and utilising different methods, educating and training of understudies and beneficiaries, harvesting of invader plant species and methods applied to produce biochar and involvement of communities in protection of plant species in community forests etc.

The closing remarks and vote of thanks were delivered by Dr Schneider.

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