Completion of the first critical steps towards Africa’s First People’s Park (Kunene Region)
The Lion Ranger Programme successfully inaugurated in Kunene Region
The Livestock/Wildlife Integration programme in Communal Conservancies started off with a pilot project in Dzoti Conservancies (Zambezi Region)
The Rhino Pride Campaign team facilitated the first ever annual Campaign Tour with 50 Traditional Authorities and about 4000 – 5000 people attending the Rhino Pride Concerts by local musicians.
TUSK has recently begun supporting the ground-breaking efforts of IRDNC in protecting Namibia’s spectacular Kunene region through the planned Kunene People’s Park. IRDNC is looking to eventually put 1 million hectares of Namibia’s Kunene region under special protection. This region is home to desert-adapted big game and what makes this plan different from conventional national parks is that it builds on and enhances community ownership of wildlife and natural resources.
The very first steps towards this new park began with a four-day mobile camping safari of twenty rural women from two Namibian conservancies to expose them to magnificent scenery and wildlife, right on their doorstep. The result was a powerful new team of committed conservationists – and a newly formed action group called Women for Conservation. The following is an account of one of the first critical actions towards this.
The week of 4 – 11 March 2018 had twelve Lion Rangers, three field coordinators, two researchers, and three IRDNC staff members gathered at Wereldsend to formally inaugurate and begin operations of the Lion Ranger Program. The programme, consisting of both the classroom ecology lesson and field practice, is spearheaded by our recently formed Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) Rapid Response Unit in Kunene Region. The Programme enjoyed the support of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Elephant-Human Relations Aid (EHRA) and Dr Philip Stander of the Desert Lion Conservation Programme.
Integrating Livestock Production with Wildlife Management in Zambezi Communal Conservancies
The Livestock/Wildlife Integration programme in Communal Conservancies started off with a pilot project in Dzoti Conservancies in April last year with the aim to reduce potential conflict between different land uses in conservancies, such as between livestock grazing and tourism development, between livestock and predators and competition for grazing between livestock and wildlife.
One of the objectives of the project were to visit areas outside Namibia to learn from other countries. As Kenya was identified as a potential case study to learn from, the Namibian participants from Dzoti Conservancy flew to Nairobi for a study tour. To read more on the lessons learned and recommendations, click the “read more” button below. For a summarised update on the project, click here.
“Are you prepared to do whatever you can to help protect our rhino?” These were the words of Omusati Hon. Governor Erginus Endjala to a diverse crowd of more than 50 Tradition Authorities, regional councilors, law enforcement officers, teachers and conservation officials who came together in early December last year to learn more about the crisis facing Namibia’s rhinos.
The four-day campaign tour, jointly facilitated by IRDNC and Save the Rhino Trust (SRT), began in Ruacana with strategic stops in Outapi, Okahao, and Onesi, and was planned just before the holiday season when poaching activity in the region often peaks. Daily meetings were held, and each session concluded with a pledge ceremony whereby each participant formally professed their commitment to join the fight to protect rhinos in front of their peers.
Additionally, free public music performances by well-known Namibian artists Bullet ya Kaoko, Tulisan, and Adora, who performed their recently written and produced rhino songs. The concerts attracted roughly 4000 – 5000 people. It is anticipated to be an annual event.