Showing posts with label Conservation in Namibia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conservation in Namibia. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2012

Namibia wins international conservation award

Namibia has won the 2012 Markhor Award for Outstanding Conservation Performance in recognition of its exceptional wildlife conservation programme.
The award is the brainchild of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation.
The prize was jointly awarded to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Namibian Association of Community-Based Natural Resources Management Support Organisations (Nacso).
Through the award, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation, “honours conservation projects that link human livelihoods with the conservation of biodiversity”.
The award is given every two years at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity, which was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 to which Namibia is a signatory.
Namibia’s winning of the award is ascribed to its sustainable game management plan, “according to which game may be harvested for trophy hunting, live capture and sale and for distribution of meat”, a statement issued by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Namibia said.
While there is increasing evidence that global and African wildlife is declining, Namibia has shown the opposite and has grown its wildlife exponentially in communal conservancy areas since independence.
“In the north-west Kunene Region, for example, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra numbers have grown from an estimated 1 000 in 1982 to around 27 000 today, and the population of the desert-adapted elephant has grown from around 150 to approximately 750 in the same period. Lions in Kunene have expanded in range and number from 20 in 1995 to an estimated 130 today, and Namibia has the world’s largest black rhino population,” WWF said.
The recovery of animals has been influenced by translocating large numbers of animals to communal conservancies, which was started in 1999. Through this programme, the Ministry of Environment has moved more than 8 300 head of game to conservancies.
Some of the wildlife moved include species such as black rhino, sable antelope, black faced impala and giraffe.
The director of WWF in Namibia, Chris Weaver, said Namibia’s nomination for the award is proof that “sustainable use of wildlife has been a strong catalyst to the recovery of wildlife in communal areas of Namibia, as participating conservancies have been quick to recognise that wildlife is more valuable alive than poached. As a result, poaching has become socially unacceptable”.
The International Council of Game and Wildlife Conservation said the introduction of communal conservancies in Namibia has brought about a “paradigm shift in community attitudes towards wildlife”.
Communal conservancies in Namibia have grown from four in 1998 to 76 in 2012, covering almost 19 per cent of the country.
The income from trophy hunting in the conservancies is use to pay conservancy salaries and also places many of these organisations on a sound financial footing.
Total benefits – including income from employment, in-kind benefits, and cash – to communal conservancies between 1998 and 2010 totalled N$179,3 million.
Derived from: The Namibian
By a Staff Reporter

Monday, June 4, 2012

Namibia one of the greatest African wildlife recovery stories

FORTY-TWO per cent of Namibia’s land is under conservation management. This makes Namibia one of the countries with the largest conservation area.
At independence in 1990, only 13 per cent of the land area in Namibia was under conservation management.
Namibia’s 42 per cent is no mean feat considering that Belize has 36 per cent, Zambia 35 per cent, Botswana 30 per cent and South Africa 12 per cent under conservation.
The areas under conservation include national parks and protected areas, communal conservancies and freehold conservancies.
There are currently 71 gazetted communal conservancies in Namibia, covering over 18 per cent of the country. There are also 19 freehold conservancies, formed by commercial farmers grouping together as conservancy associations.
Namibia is also the only country where the elephant population grew by a third between 1995 and 2008.
Translocated black rhinos are expanding their range as Namibia is leading Africa in moving black rhino out of national parks into the safety of communal conservancies. The country also has the largest population of wild cheetah and the largest annual game count in the world takes place in Namibia.
It is also the only country in Africa with expanding free-roaming giraffe and lion populations.
The ranges and numbers of lion populations from the Caprivi wetlands, where the black-maned lions prey on the African buffalo, to the Skeleton Coast where documented numbers have risen from just 25 in 1995 to well over a hundred today, make Namibia one of the greatest African wildlife recovery stories ever told.
There are 42 established joint-venture lodges and campsites, which makes Namibia a world leader in developing a tourism product that contributes to conservation and community development.
The first four conservancies were formed in 1998 after legislation made it possible for communities to have the same rights over wildlife as commercial farmers, who were allowed to hunt on their farms.
For the first time, rural communities could generate income from conservancies through trophy hunting.
Conservancies are meant to protect wildlife and its habitat, so having rights over wild animals does not mean unlimited hunting.
Game guards from the community are employed by the conservancy to patrol and deter poachers. The guards also assist the Ministry of Environment and Tourism with the monitoring of the annual game counts. The ministry also sets the quotas for hunting to allow the wildlife populations to grow.
Conservancies have rights over tourism operators and investors who want to open lodges and the two parties enter into a joint partnership with the conservancy for the benefit of all. The conservancy shares in the income from the lodge and also benefits from job opportunities created from the joint ventures.
Namibians are invited to experience the conservation journey of the country at the annual Tourism Expo. Guides from different conservancies will be on hand in Hall M at the Windhoek Showgrounds to show visitors around and talk about their conservancy.
Growing... Namibia's elephant population has grown by a third between 1995 & 2008
Derived from: The Namibian
By: Tanja Bause