02 Feb 2015 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 02 FEB (NAMPA) Namibia emerged as a first runner-up in the United Nations' World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Ulysess Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Amsterdam emerged as the winner, with Namibia and Turkey as first runner-ups and Bangladesh as second runner-up during the 11th edition of the UNWTO awards which took place at the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid, Spain on 28 January 2015.
UNWTO recognised 14 finalists from 12 countries around the world which lead innovative tourism initiatives in public policy and governance, enterprises, NGOs and research and technology.
Namibias success story comes from our programme for community-based conservation of wildlife. Our community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) programme has helped us to set the scene for a conservation strategy in an independent Namibia, reads a media statement issued by Romeo Muyunda, the Ministry of Environment and Tourisms public relations officer, on Friday
It said the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) partners with local NGOs, the government and the tourism private sector players to bring income into rural communities and empower Namibians to manage and benefit from their wildlife.
This award must be seen in the context in which the WWF-Namibia operates, the statement pointed out. The WWF promotes Namibia as a conservation travel destination.
The ministry said Namibian efforts towards conservation is a global success story that echoes across the continents and is seen as an example of how, by commitment, dedication and community empowerment a nation and its biodiversity base can be transformed, leading to the greatest wildlife recovery story ever told.
Delegates from countries amongst others, Mongolia, Nepal and the United States of America (USA) came to Namibia to learn specifically about Namibias conservation policies and how they are implemented. The Namibian tourism sector is based on wildlife, landscapes and cultures.
Today, Namibia is the only country in Africa with an expanding, free-roaming population of lions; free-roaming giraffes; an expanding elephant population; and the largest cheetah population in the world.
It should be emphasized that conservancies are not areas for wildlife and tourism only. They bring additional opportunities for rural people to manage wildlife and tourism alongside their normal activities of livestock management and crop growing, in other words indigenous biodiversity production systems continue to be applied and used, said the statement.