German Development Cooperation
Ministry of Environment and Tourism
2006 to at least 2018
“The North Eastern Parks are effectively protected against pressures on resources, fulfil their corridor function for animal migration and represent a competitive destination for tourists. The residents and neighbours of the parks profit economically from the parks”.
Result 1: Infrastructure of the North Eastern Parks is improved
Result 2: Park management of North Eastern Parks is improved
Result 3: Communities benefit from parks and sustainable use of natural resources
Result 4: MET is supported in its role in KAZA TFCA, and in the development of tourism.
The first two phases of the programme focussed on Bwabwata, Mudumu and Nkasa Rupara National Parks which lie in Namibia’s Kavango East and Zambezi Regions. In Phase III Khaudum National Park was added, while Phase IV is continuing the work in the north east parks with the addition of the Sperrgebiet or Tsau//Khaeb National Park, in the extreme south of Namibia. A fifth phase is being developed, which will focus on the Coastal Parks and which should start in 2017.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), established the Namibia National Parks Programme (NamParks) in 2006 with support from the German Government through the German Development Bank KfW. The Programme contributes towards the ecological and economic development of the Namibian component of the Kavango - Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).
NamParks are a new generation of parks that symbolise a fresh approach to conservation and development. Cross-border wildlife corridors are being restored and wildlife is increasing. Ecosystems are managed in “complexes” with the network of conservancies and community forests next to the parks. The aim is that local communities benefit as conservation and tourism will be the driver of socio-economic development in the region.
Integrated Park Management is the key to success. Using this approach, the NamParks Programme has already notched up a long list of achievements. Firstly, the
Programme values the people who live in and around parks and has equipped them with the right tools for their work. It has also helped develop national and local-level management policies and tools for efficient and effective park management. Management plans have been compiled to guide future activities, current day-to-day management as well as tourism and business opportunities. These management plans are now guiding the management of the parks, such as the implementation of the fire management policy.
In the previous phase of the programme park staff received eight new vehicles and boats to improve patrols, monitoring and extension work and have undergone extensive training. Mahango and Susuwe park stations in Bwabwata National Park, and Ngenda in Mudumu National Park were rebuilt using environmentally-friendly building methods.
Now it is the turn of Khaudum and Nkasa Rupara National Parks where new visitor receptions, offices, workshops and a grand total of 57 new staff houses will be built to replace the old camps at Khaudum, Sikeretti in Khaudum National Park, and Shisinze in Nkasa Rupara National Park. Building work will begin in April 2016, and should be completed in July 2017.
Several artificial waterholes and viewing platforms are being rehabilitated in Khaudum. The waterholes are vitally important for Khaudum’s wildlife, as there is very little natural water in the park. Engineers have been engaged to design waterpoints that will separate the elephants from the other animals, and will reduce conflict and competition between them. All the facilities have to be extremely strong as elephants can be very destructive. If the waterpoints can be rehabilitated successfully it is possible that rhinos may be introduced into the park.
Most of the visitors to the north east parks are self-drive tourists, and it is easy for them to become lost because of the lack of road signs in the parks. There have been previous attempts to provide conventional signs but these have been destroyed by elephants.
NamParks has designed new, indestructible signs made of concrete, which will solve the problem.
Namibia’s Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Programme has won international awards for its excellence and effectiveness. It has led to the system of Integrated Park Management which enables local communities to have a say in how parks and adjoining areas are managed. It is the local communities who may suffer from the various problems and costs of living with wildlife so it is right that efforts are made to enable them to benefit from wildlife conservation. Tourism and trophy hunting concessions earn revenue for conservancies and associations which leads to job creation and poverty reduction.
Communities are viewed as allies to be helped and rewarded for safeguarding some of Africa’s most precious natural resources, including growing populations of elephants and many other species. Partnerships are being encouraged between park staff, residents and neighbours, NGOs and the private sector. The aim is to conserve the area’s rich biodiversity and diverse ecosystems, to increase wildlife numbers and to boost tourism. The Ministry has established several forums to enable stakeholders to have a say in how parks and ecosystems are managed.
KAZA TFCA: The Kavango – Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area
Namibia’s north-eastern Parks form the heart of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), an initiative between Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is the world’s largest conservation area, covering approximately 520,000 km2 (which is more than 60% of Namibia.) They are part of a network of 36 protected areas that have the potential to transform conservation in southern Africa.
KAZA TFCA promises to be southern Africa’s premier tourist destination with the largest contiguous population of the Africa elephant (approximately 250,000). This growth will provide further incentives to our partners to conserve diverse ecosystems, giving value to wildlife while providing alternative incomes and jobs for communities.
The assistance from the German Development Cooperation, through KfW, with co-financing from the Republic of Namibia has just begun the implementation of NamParks Phase IV. This new phase of NamParks started in January 2016 and is focussed on Tsau//Khaeb National Park (formerly Sperrgebiet). The project will improve infrastructure in the park; support the implementation of the park’s management plan; support community benefits from wildlife and conservation and the award and management of concessions; develop the tourism potential of the park while protecting the very delicate flora and fauna. The project will also continue to support the North East Parks, including support for the Bwabwata Ecological Institute.