Monday 12 April 2021
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Namibian Conservancies improving wild life sustainability

Conservancies in Namibia provide local communities with a large number of incentives to manage natural recourses. Among these resources, wild life can be found. The country is said to have been the first African country to have incorporated protection of the environmental conservation into its constitution.
Through communal conservancies, government has reinforced the protection by giving local communities the opportunity to manage wild life.
The Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) has revealed that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism recognizes conservancies and has registered about 83 communal conservancies that cover about 19.8 percent of the country.
During a handover event of two vehicles to the Puros and Sesfontein Conservancies as part of a concession agreement with Trip Travel, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Bernadette Jagger, highlighted that local communities through the CBNRM programme gain rights over wildlife by forming conservancies to generate income from a number of different use options.
Jagger stated that the adoption of wildlife and tourism, as additional forms of land use by rural people and the recovery of wildlife in many conservancies indicates the success of the conservancy programme.
“There is no doubt that this programme is making a positive impact towards the improvement of the livelihoods of rural communities and hence the Ministry of Environment and Tourism still receive requests from communities to form new conservancies” she said.
She explained that conservancies in the Kunene Region have also made significant contribution to working towards reducing poverty and improving biodiversity conservation and tourism development.
“We should continue to develop our conservancies into prosperous conservation and tourism development programmes from which our rural communities can derive equitable social and economic benefits.
Our emphasis should be to create long term sustainability for the CBNRM programme for the benefit of our people” Jagger said.
Jagger further explained that there is a need for sound practices, for the sustainable use of the countries natural resources on an economically beneficial basis.
“Planning, managing, monitoring and evaluation are thus the core and key aspects of conservancy activities” stated Jagger.
Trip Travel Managing Director, Rodrick Engelbrecht during the hand over, noted that the Ministry had granted Trip Travel the opportunity to utilise the concession area to build Shipwreck lodge as tourism in Namibia is widely viewed as having major potential for economic growth and development.
“As part of our social investment development to the local communities, we are committed to provide vehicles to the conservancies in the third year of the operation of the lodge, however I am pleased to announce that board of directors of the lodge decided to provide these vehicles in the same month that the lodge has opened its doors” he said.
The lodge which opened a few days ago, is further committed to N$20 000 per year for the first ten years of the concessions to allow two candidates from the communities to study Bachelors of Technology degree in tourism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
It will also supply two Brahman Bulls every five years.
A total of 30 young people from the communities have been employed at Shipwreck lodge. The lodge opened its doors on the 6th of June.

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