NamParks a huge success: Herunga

05 Aug 2013 05:30
KATIMA MULILO, 05 AUG (NAMPA) - Environment and Tourism Minister Uahekua Herunga has described the NamParks programme as a huge success as it not only improves the lives of communities, but also protects biodiversity in the Caprivi Region.
He was speaking at the inauguration of national parks’ infrastructure at the Susuwe Station in the Bwabwata National Park, which is situated in the Caprivi Region last Thursday.
During the event, an integrated development plan for the Namibian component of the Kavango Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservancy Area (KAZA TFCA) was also launched.
“Since the year 2006, the ministry’s NamParks programme has systematically built a programme which cares as much for people living in the north-east of Namibia as it does for the region’s remarkable biodiversity. The German Government supports NamParks through its development bank, known as KfW. We are extremely grateful for the support, which has led to the success of these parks today,” he noted.
Namibia’s national parks in the north-east are Bwabwata, Khaudum, Mangetti, Mudumu and Nkasa Rupara.
The German Government pledged a total of N.dollars 60 million for phase one and two of the NamParks programme in 2004.
The programme was first established as the Bwabwata Mudumu Malili Parks Project in 2004, and is now referred to as the Namibia Parks (NamParks) programme. Co-funding from the Namibian Government amounted to N.dollars 40 million for phase one and two of the programme.
Phases one (2006 to 2010) and two (2010 to 2013) of the programme focused on Bwabwata, Mdumu and Nkasa Ruprara (formally Mamili); which included various activities such as procurement of park management equipment in the various parks, new park management stations at Susuwe and Ngenda inside the Mudumu National Park, completion of staff housing quarters, planning park conservation and a number of developmental activities.
Khaudum will benefit from Phase Three of the programme.
Herunga indicated that Namibia’s north-eastern parks symbolise a new approach to the protection of the country’s biodiversity, adding that it is an integrated park management approach which integrates development and the needs of park residents and neighbours into planning and management.
“This management method is seeing benefits for communities and is creating jobs, notably through tourism and trophy-hunting,” he noted.
The German Government pledged a further N.dollars 60 million for Phase Three, while the Namibian Government pledged N.dollars 9 million, an amount which is likely to increase when work starts.
The third phase, which is scheduled to take off during this year, includes new park infrastructure like buildings, workshops, gate facilities, roads and water supply in Khaudum; the integration of community forests and conservancies; an increase in KAZA TFCA activities; and support for negotiations with Botswana and Zambia to partially remove veterinary fences.
(NAMPA)
PC/AS/TK