The Community Conservation stand at Tourism Expo is usually one of Expo’s most inspired exhibits, and this year the MET, NACSO and two of its members, IRDNC, and TOSCO combined forces with CCFN to launch a tourism website that will help visitors to ‘Discover Namibia’s Communal Conservancies: an authentic and unforgettable experience’. Expo’s Silver Award went to the stand.
There are well over 50 joint-venture lodges run as partnerships between Namibian conservancies and the private sector, and many more camp sites. NACSO, through its tourism partners, has always embraced this year’s Expo theme: ‘Conserving by travelling responsibly’. In a joint-venture lodge, visitors will have the authentic experience of meeting conservancy members cooking and serving the food, but also guiding on unforgettable journeys into the wild.
The web site will be an eye-opener to prospective visitors, many of whom will have “seen it all”, but will be amazed at what Namibia has to offer with wide open spaces, iconic wildlife and friendly smiles.
NACSO’s Director Maxi Louis welcomed visitors to the launch of the site at Expo, as a means of “encouraging tourists to explore communal conservancies and take the road less travelled,” and to enhance local revenues and alternative livelihoods by creating employment in local communities,” where people live together with wildlife, and face the problems of human-wildlife conflict.
Hon. Kazeongere Tjeundo, Councillor of Opuwo Rural Constituency then spoke about the important role that tourism plays in rural development, before saying that the Kunene Region is one of the most pristine environments, with beautiful landscapes and flourishing wildlife.
“I would like to invite all of you to visit the Kunene Region to come and see the beautiful Epupa Falls in the Kunene River, Twyfelfontein and other famous rock paintings found throughout the region, the traditional Ovahimba people, the majestic Skeleton Coast National Park, and desert elephants and lions,” he said.
Honourable Pohamba Shifeta, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, was keen to show off the new web site to those gathered at the stand. Scrolling through the site he pointed out that 73% of travellers use online sources when deciding on their destination, and that the new community tourism website is compatible with smart phones and other new technologies, while keeping the information, look and feel authentically Namibian.
The minister encouraged all of the 86 conservancies to make use of the new platform to promote tourism in their conservancies, and to develop tourist attractions to draw more tourists to their areas, to generate more funds for their operations, and benefits for communities.
Every week we bring you links to stories about the climate crisis, pollution, and threats to bio-diversity – with some occasional good news thrown in.
Last week produced data showing that the level of carbon in the atmosphere has risen steeply in the past seven years. Not fake news, just like the record cutting down of the Amazon rainforest – another example of the loss of wilderness areas.
And think twice before drinking bottled water; not just because of the pollution to the environment. A study shows that humans are eating and drinking thousands of plastic nano-particles.
But it’s not all bad news. Some supermarkets are experimenting with zero-waste shopping, where the shopper takes bags and containers to fill up with veggies, tea, sugar and even washing up liquid. Remind you of anything? African markets?