Director General Tom Alweendo and Mr. Thomas Wollenzien, Dircetor of South and Central Africa, KfW Development Bank sign co-operation agreements totalling 14 million (approximately N$ 180 million)
At a signing ceremony held at the National Planning Commission in Windhoek today (Friday, 04 October 2013), NPC’s Director General Hon. Tom Alweendo and Mr. Thomas Wollenzien, Director of South and Central Africa, KfW Development Bank reaffirmed that the main objectives of Namibian–German co-operation are to support the Namibian Government in its efforts to reduce poverty and unemployment, to improve access to land and the sustainable use of natural resources, as well as to foster economic development.
The grant agreement to the tune of EUR 14.0 million (N$ 180 million) that is being signed today will support the Namibian National Parks and its surrounding Areas. The signing of the agreements enters into force as the results of the bilateral negotiations which took place in Bonn during 23-24 May 2011.
The funds will assist the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to further implement the Namibia National Parks Programme also known as Namparks Programme. The objective of the program is to support the establishment and integrated management of National Parks in the country. This will maintain and increase the ecological value of the biodiversity-rich areas and contribute effectively to the economic development of the region. Communities in the neighboring park areas will benefit directly through park and tourism related economic activities. The project will thus have a positive impact on poverty reduction. The main measures will comprise the provision of Park management infrastructure as well as the development of training facilities for efficient park management and Transboundary cooperation in natural conservation and tourism.
The regional focus of the coming phase of the Namparks Programme will be the Sperrgebiet National Park southwest of the country and the Bwabwata Ecological Institute in the northeast.
The Sperrgebiet was declared a National Park in 2008 and was renamed recently into Tsau/Khaeb National Park. The area is one of the best preserved and protected natural areas of the world as the area was not accessible to the public for more than hundred years due to the diamond deposits. The total area of the national park covers a surface of 22.000km² whereas diamond mining only took place on 5% of the area. The Sperrgebiet harbors a lot of treasures that is worth protecting: it is one of the few biodiversity hotspots in the world, it contains a Ramsar site, around Oranjemund, which is a wetland area of international importance, its coast has been declared a marine protected area. Focus of the cooperation will be the preservation and sustainable management of this unique, untouched nature as well as contribution to the economic development the surrounding areas and the communities neighboring the Parks.
In this new funding concept, the following projects or activities will be conducted:
- The establishment and development of the Bwabwata Wildlife Institute and Conservation Education Center. The center will be developed and equipped to support Park staff and game wardens, Rangers, Scouts, neighbouring and resident communities as well as schools, to enhance their knowledge in biodiversity conservation and environmental education.
- To protect the rich biodiversity of the Tsau //Khaeb, Bwabwata, Mudumu and Nkasa Rupara National Parks and neighbouring conservancies and ensure that natural resources are used wisely.
- Develop and maintain corridors for animal migration and develop the area as a competitive tourism destination through effective management and tourism plans and infrastructure development so that Namibians receive the maximum social and economic benefits from the Parks.
- Finally, Infrastructure planning and development will be done in the Sperrgebiet National Park, now renamed Tsau //Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park in the South of Namibia
The signing of the finanicing agreement marks another milestone in the successful cooperation between the Ministry of Enviroment and Tourism and KfW on behalf of the German Government in the support to the Namparks Programme.
Mr. Ned Sibeya,
Office of the President, National Planning Commission
Ms. Lydia Von-Krosigk