MET inagurates Kapinga Kamwalye Conservancy

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) officially inaugurates the Kapinga Kamwalye Conservancy at Macuva village in the Kavango East region on Thursday.

The conservancy borders two traditional authorities, Shambyu Traditional Authority, and the Gciriku Traditional Authority.

Located in two constituencies, Rundu Rural and Mashare Constituency and covering about 1698 kilometres (km), the conservancy stretches from the Kavango River into the inland and it is expected to benefit a population of about 3061 people living in the surrounding villages.

Speaking at the inauguration, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Bernadette Jagger said Namibia has adopted a number of innovative strategies to achieve biodiversity conservation within the framework of national development plans and poverty reduction.

She said one of the strategies is the Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programme, which allows the formation of communal conservancies through which rural communities have gained rights over the management of wildlife and tourism.

CBNRM is a programme that provides a number of incentives to rural communities that are managing natural resources and generating income from the sustainable utilization of wildlife and tourism management.

Jagger said due to the commitment shown by rural communities, there has been a remarkable recovery and increase of wildlife population, including key predator species and endangered species such as elephants and black rhinoceros.

She added that CBNRM approaches are also being developed in sectors such as community forests, focusing more on woodland resources with the aim to promote prudent use and management of plant resources available to rural communities.

Senior council member of the Shambyu Traditional Authority, Edward Shikerete, said the Kapinga Kamwalye Conservancy would be an important step for rural dwellers to become more confident, pro-active and be capable in all aspects of their lives.

He said the livelihood security of rural families could significantly improve through income and cash flow from the conservancy adding that CBNRM activities can also provide employment to a few residents in the area.

While Thomas Muronga, Chairperson of the conservancy, in his brief history of the conservancy said it was not an easy journey but through perseverance and commitment from community leaders, the conservancy was born.

Muronga also applauded the ministry for its utmost support as well as the traditional authorities in engaging each other as far as the borders of the conservancy are concerned.

Source: Namibia Press Agency