Groundbreaking ceremony and launch of Park Management Plans

Rudi Bowe

The Namibia National Parks Program co-financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via KfW Development Bank had a groundbreaking ceremony and launch of Park Management plans in the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Erongo region on Thursday 2 December.

The ceremony also covered the launch of the management plans for Skeleton Coast Park, Dorob National Park and Namib Naukluft Park and paves the way for the construction of staff houses, park management offices, tourism receptions and tourism entrance gates for the Cape Cross Seal Reserve in the Erongo Region, Skeleton Coast Park in the Kunene Region and Namib Naukluft Park in the Erongo, Hardap and Karas Regions.
The Minster of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said infrastructure development at Cape Cross in the Cape Cross Seal Reserve; Ugabmund, Springbokwasser and Mowe Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park; as well as Sesriem and Gobabeb in the Namib Naukluft Park will improve the management of national parks and service delivery.
Shifeta said, “The new infrastructure will include new park entrance gates and signage walls, new offices, tourism receptions, vehicle garages and maintenance workshops, staff houses, service buildings with equipment stores, service pits and wash bays, and ablution blocks.”
According to the minister the coastal parks, Cape Cross, Skeleton Coast, Dorob and Namib Naukluft Park are part of what has become one of the longest protected coastlines in the world, stretching from the Iona National Park in south-western Angola and bordering the Skeleton Coast Park to the Ramsar Site at the Orange River.
“With signing of the agreement for establishment of the Iona-Skeleton Coast Trans-frontier Park between Namibia and Angola, there is an opportunity to establish a much larger Trans-frontier Conservation Area that spans three countries – Namibia, Angola and South Africa along the Namib coast,” the minister said, explaining NamParks 5, which is the current phase, covers the four Namibian Coastal Parks that comprise of the Skeleton Coast Park, the Dorob National Park with Cape Cross Seal Reserve, the Namib Naukluft Park as well as the Tsau //Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park.
These Coastal Parks, with their linkage with the trans-frontier conservation areas in the north with Angola and in the south with South Africa, and further linkages with numerous concessions, conservancies and private conservation areas, offer an exceptional conservation and tourism opportunities. The parks are managed for wildlife, biodiversity conservation and tourism for economic development of the country and improved livelihoods of the people. Through the Namibia – German cooperation continued investment in new infrastructure development for National Parks are ensured.
Minister Shifeta said that the management plans make provision for tourism development and management. The environment minister expressed gratitude to the German Government’s continued friendship and generous support. “You have become a “Friend of our Parks.

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