Thursday, September 29, 2011

Climate change affects Namibia’s trade routes

The Namibian: Trade between Namibia and other countries could suffer severely when roads and railways are damaged by floods caused by changing weather patterns as a result of climate change. Laudika Kandjinga from Integrated Environmental Consultants Namibia (IECN) made this observation during a presentation titled ‘Trade and Climate Change - How does it Affect Namibia?’

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the Agricultural Trade Forum (ATF) organised the breakfast meeting that took place at the NamPower Convention Centre on Tuesday Namibia is a trade-dependent country that mainly exports beef, diamonds, fish and grapes to international markets, and imports a wide variety of goods from South Africa.

Kandjinga warned that disruptions to the supply, transport and distribution chains would raise the cost of doing trade. Damage to infrastructure is mostly caused by rising sea levels, erosion and inland flooding.

It has negative consequences for the Walvis Bay Corridor with its dry port and harbour that are strategically positioned to give the country a competitive edge as a transport hub for all regional and international trade between SADC countries, Europe, the Americas, and the rest of the world.

The cost of repairing roads and the creation of new trade routes to provide access to and from landlocked southern African countries is a matter of concern, Kandjinga said.

“Trade is a key factor in Namibia’s economic development with her small domestic market and other economic activities. Some sectors are largely dependent on raw materials and should they become depleted as a result of climate change, it will have a direct impact on their viability,” he cautioned....

A satellite view of Walvis Bay, Namibia, from NASA

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