This weekend at the Etosha National Park, the minister of environment and tourism Pohamba Shifeta launched its newest initiative the Friends of Parks programme.
This is a programme which encourages donors, the private sector and other stakeholders to get involved and support the development and management of Namibia’s National Parks and other conservation areas in the spirit of good will and through a coordinated and structured approach.
The programme will support the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in developing, expanding, managing and promoting a system of sustainable national parks and other conservation areas that represents biodiversity, tourism and heritage assets, through innovation and best practice for the just and equitable benefit of current and future generations.
“Our vision is also to create a world class volunteer programme operating as an integral partner to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s National Parks Programme in support of our strategic objectives,” said Shifeta.
The Friends of the Parks programme will add value to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism programme through volunteer activities by individuals, groups and organizations that will make available their time and resources to perform work on projects and activities in National Parks and other conservation areas, as identified and approved by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
Fundraising shall take place at a national level as facilitated by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism through the National Steering Committee that is still to be appointed. Facilitation for fundraising will also be done at a national project level specific to the project and at a regional level specific to the region or park.
“We trust that stakeholders will join us in making this programme a reality. Please be a friend to a National Park so that they continue to play their rightful role in preserving our most treasured species and habitats,” he concluded.