UNDP hold inception workshop for the new project aiming to strengthen the management of Namibia’s protected areas system
The expansion of Namibia’s protected areas has resulted in emerging management challenges like fire outbreaks, Namibia’s vulnerability to the increasing threat of poaching of key species, such as elephants and rhinos. These challenges need to be urgently addressed to enhance the benefits of protected areas network to Namibia’s development.
InJune 2014, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Namibia with the support of Global Environment Facility (GEF), held an inception workshop at Windhoek Country Club and Resort for the project titled “Strengthening the Capacity of the Protected Area System to Address New Management Challenges (PASS Namibia)”. This project came about as a result of the GEF 5 prioritization consultation that identified the need to strengthen enforcement and improved collaboration with law enforcement agencies in the country and sub-region to effectively address poaching, fire detection and management of protected areas.
The main objective of the PASS project is to strengthen and sustainably finance the protected areas through improved current systems for revenue generation, introduction of innovative revenue generation mechanisms and cost effective enforcements through application of the enforcement economics model. These objectives will be achieved through three complementary components which are; improvement of current systems for revenue generation and developing new mechanisms for revenue generation, cost-effective law enforcements through applying sound principles of the enforcement economic model and lastly through the implementation of the integrated fire management.
The purpose of the inception workshop was to ensure ownership, support and commitment to various project outputs by partners and stakeholders. Participants at the workshop included the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Defence, Communal Conservancies, Community Forests, NGO’s and the Civil Society Organisations.
Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Mrs. Louisa Mupetami emphasized the significant contributions which protected areas network makes to the conservation of biodiversity, maintainance of ecosystem services and to the socio-economic benefits to local communities neighbouring and/or residents of such protected areas.
In her concluding remarks, Ms Mupetami stated that “Not only are protected areas a source of useful natural resources, but protected areas are also a source of development resources, such as income earning opportunities, skill resources, educational resources and development catalysts”.
The PASS Namibia project will play a significant role to the protected areas as it will ensure the strengthened and financed sustainability through current systems.