Youth Environment Summit, Waterberg Plateau National Park,

May 30, 2015

Learners who participated in the YES pictured with the Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism (middle, standing) and(left to right) Dr Konrad Uebelhoer, Mrs. Rosalia Mwashekele Sibiya, Gobabeb RTC Director, Gillian Maggs-Kolling and Mr. Nico Willemse from UNDP

In celebration of the 2015 International Day for Biological Diversity the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre successfully organized and ran the sixth Youth Environmental Summit (YES), co-funded by the German government’s cooperation agency,GIZ, Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and Gobabeb Centre, focusing on biodiversity and sustainable development at the Waterberg Plateau Park.

This year, the YES group consisted of learners and their teaches from Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, Omusati and Ohangwena and Khomas regions. The group took part in a one-week training program which was facilitated by the Gobabeb RTC staff and Gobabeb alumni conducting research in the Waterberg Area.

The YES is aimed at educating young Namibians on how to become key agents for sustainable development.

At the summit group was sub divided into 3 groups, each of which had to carry out research projects on the 3 main focal areas namely, Bush Encroachment, Tourism and Rangeland Management. Each project was carried out in line with the theme: Biodiversity for Sustainable Development. Study areas included private farms, communal lands, water points, the Cheetah Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCF) as well as the Namibia Wildlife Resorts lodge within the park.

After a week of data collectionfrom private farms, communal land, water points, the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and the Namibia Wildlife Resort (NWR) lodge, each group analyzed collected data and prepared a presentation on the findings in form of role plays and songs which they presented to the attendees of the YES at the Waterberg NWR Lodge on 23 May 2015.

The Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Tommy Nambahu officiated the event that attracted over 150 people country wide. The program also included several talks from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany by Dr Konrad Uebelhoer, the special advisor to the Office of the Governor Mrs. Rosalia Mwashekele-Sibiya delivered a message from the Otjozondjupa Governor. Mr. Nico Willemse, Programme Analyst for the Energy and Environment unit at the United Nations Development Program in Namibia delivered the speech of the United Nations Secretary General.

The summit left most learners inspired to learn more about natural resource management and sustainable development in Namibia.