Pohamba opens ATWS, promises Government's co-operation

27 Oct 2013 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 27 OCT (NAMPA) - The Namibian Government will continue to work with the private sector to promote and foster sustainable tourism and greater conservation success.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba made this pledge during the launching of the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) at Parliament Gardens in the capital on Saturday.
Close to a thousand people attended the event which was celebrated in true Namibian style, and which was attended by delegates from the summit.
Pohamba said the Namibian Constitution obliges her people to protect the environment and therefore, have several legislations in place.
“For us, the summit provides a unique platform to market Namibian tourism to the rest of the world. All eyes of adventurous enthusiasts are now focusing on Namibia, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and indeed, the African continent. It is my wish that win-win partnerships will create a linkage that will be established to the maximum, contributing to tourism, especially adventurous tourism, to the economic growth and the improvement of the living conditions of our communities,” he noted.
Namibia is largely an arid and semi-arid country and her eco-systems are beautiful, but fragile. He emphasised that this is why Government puts emphasis on the environment and conservation.
One success story of the country’s conservation initiative which was introduced by Government, is the establishment of conservancies in the rural areas.
The initiative is aimed at promoting sustainable use of wild animals, while at the same time mitigating human-wildlife conflict (HWC).
Since its roll-out in 1998, it also aims to ensure that communities benefit from tourism in these areas. The programme has resulted in many benefits for members of conservancies in the form of income generation and the reduction of HWC.
Pohamba called on the delegates attending the summit to work together in order to promote effective partnerships which will help to drive the tourism industry.
“A growing tourism industry is vital for economic growth, job creation and sustainable development,” he added.
Close to 700 members of the adventure travel community are attending the tourism indaba, which is taking place on African soil for the first time from 26 to 31 October this year.
Some ATWS delegates are currently touring through Namibia to gain a deeper understanding of what Namibia has to offer before the main event of the summit commences in Swakopmund on 29 October.