MET launches three protected areas' policies

19 Mar 2014 17:00pm

WINDHOEK, 19 MAR (NAMPA) ? The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) recently launched three conservation and protected areas? policies for Namibia. The national policies are on filming and photography in protected areas; the provision of housing in protected areas; and protected areas? neighbours and resident communities. In a media statement issued on Tuesday, MET Permanent Secretary (PS) Simeon Negumbo said Environment and Tourism Minister Uahekua Herunga launched the policies on 28 February already at Okaukuejo in the Etosha National Park. About the national policy on filming and photography in protected areas, the PS explained that commercial filming and photography are seen as important economic activities in a sector where Namibia has strong comparative disadvantages due to its rich wildlife and scenic resources. ?Filming and photography in national parks is a major contributor to tourism development in the country. However, it must be conducted in a systematic and co-ordinated manner which is sustainable and environmentally-friendly, hence the need to develop and implement this policy,? he stressed. The primary purpose of the national policy for the provision of housing in protected areas is to provide a framework which governs the provision and occupation of housing in protected areas for MET staff and other employees of other institutions who may be housed in Namibia?s protected areas. The policy aims to address aspects of the number, location and standard of staff houses to be provided within protected areas, as well as the conduct of the people residing therein. The policy will also regulate the type of activities residents should engage in within protected areas. According to Negumbo, protected areas are a valuable resource for community development. The policy on protected areas? neighbours and resident communities will contribute to the improvement of conservation efforts of the country?s protected areas, provide greater social equity in accessing benefits from protected areas and stimulate local economic development through creating business opportunities linked to protected areas. The policy further seeks to create significant positive attitudes of residents and neighbours towards protected areas, and engage them on sound management to enhance conservation activities. ?The ministry genuinely appreciates the support rendered by the Millennium Challenge Account-Namibia (MCA-N) and the Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas? (NAMPLACE) initiative in the development of these projects,? he added. (NAMPA) PC/TK