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Namibia’s Biomass Revolution: Unleashing 1.5 Billion Tonnes of Potential for Prosperity

Harnessing Nature’s Bounty for Prosperity

Namibia, the land of vast horizons and untamed beauty, holds within its embrace a natural resource of immense potential – biomass. The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism envisions a future where Namibia generates a staggering 1.5 billion tonnes of biomass, derived from the 45 million hectares of bush-encroached land that defines the nation’s landscape.

A Growing Harvest and Youthful Opportunities

Every year, nearly 2 million tonnes of biomass are already harvested, bringing forth a cornucopia of opportunities for Namibian youth. The biomass sector has become a fertile ground for job creation, promising a brighter future for the nation’s young workforce.

A Call for Responsibility and Sustainability

Minister Pohamba Shifeta, the custodian of Namibia’s environmental legacy, emphasizes the importance of stewardship. He calls upon all stakeholders in the biomass sector to tread lightly on this precious resource. Unsustainable practices, he warns, endanger the thriving sector and the well-being of the environment. Responsible exploitation, guided by the government, ensures not only the longevity of biomass resources but also the restoration of rangelands.

Charting a Sustainable Course with the National Strategy

In 2022, the Ministry launched the National Strategy on the Sustainable Management of Bush Resources (2022-2027). This visionary blueprint provides a roadmap for the judicious use of biomass resources. It elucidates sustainable harvesting practices and emphasizes the importance of post-harvest care.

A Decade of Growth – Namibia and Germany’s Collaboration

Namibia’s biomass sector has witnessed a meteoric rise over the past decade, a testament to the fruitful partnership between Namibia and Germany. Substantial investments from the GIZ Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation Project have catalyzed this growth.

Powering Progress and Prosperity

Namibia’s forward-looking approach extends to the energy sector. NamPower, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, is embarking on a transformative journey. A macroeconomic study in 2018 illuminated the potential of the Otjikoto Bush Biomass Project, aiming to generate 40 megawatts (MW) of clean energy. This project, powered by Namibian encroacher bush, is set to infuse N$21 billion into the microeconomic and macroeconomic landscape.

A Green Powerhouse in the Making

NamPower’s biomass power station holds the key to bolstering the nation’s domestic energy generation mix. By utilizing encroacher bush, this facility promises a stable and dispatchable energy source that can provide baseload power. But its impact extends far beyond energy; it augments livestock carrying capacities, increases agricultural productivity, replenishes groundwater, reduces carbon dioxide emissions, contributes to Namibia’s GDP, and weaves a tapestry of job creation throughout the supply chain.

A Sustainable Future Beckons

As the bid for the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) project draws near, Namibia stands at the cusp of a sustainable future. With responsible biomass management, the nation can unlock its full potential, nurturing both its people and its environment.

Namibia’s biomass is not just a resource; it’s a lifeline to prosperity, a beacon of sustainability, and a testament to the nation’s commitment to a brighter tomorrow. The journey has begun, and the path is clear – Namibia’s biomass holds the promise of a greener, more prosperous future.

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