Think big – 70 % of the earth is covered by water, an elephant’s trunk is made up of more than 50 000 muscles, and there is one country in the world where 42% of its land area is under conservation management. And that country is Namibia
Being proud of this national achievement, the Namibian Tourism Board will be running Conservation Destination, a campaign designed to raise awareness of our nation’s dedicated efforts to protect our environment, nurture biodiversity and ensure that conservation benefits local communities through tourism and sustainable utilisation of natural resources. The campaign runs from 22 April to 6 June. The draw for the grand prize* will be held at the Namibia Tourism Expo on 8 June.
The campaign follows the wily Damara tern, the cunning cheetah, the massive desert-adapted black rhino and the elusive golden mole as they face real-life conservation threats.
During the campaign, you can visit our Facebook Page for a chance to win the conservation trip of a lifetime in your very own country, Namibia!
Meet our conservation heroes:
Dr Justine Braby and the wily Damara tern
Justine grew up in the Skeleton Coast Park, where she learned to share her parents’ passion for the preservation of wild places and wildlife such as desert elephants and desert lions. She recently completed her PhD studies focusing on the Damara tern, a species that in recent years has become a flagship of the conservation challenges on Namibia’s coastline. Only a third of all Damara tern chicks survive to fledgling due to the predation of eggs and human intrusion on breeding grounds.
Dr Laurie Marker and the cunning cheetah
Dr Marker has been working with cheetahs since the 1970s. She came to Namibia after independence to set up the Cheetah Conservation Fund, now a world-renowned conservation organisation. Working with farmers to change attitudes towards cheetahs and schoolchildren to ensure conservation in the future, Dr Marker has seen Namibia’s cheetah population in Namibia double. Today Namibia boasts the largest population of free-roaming cheetahs in the world, with biologists from across the globe flocking to the research centre at the CCF to study cheetahs and learn from experts such as Dr Marker.
Simson Uri-Khob and the massive desert-adapted black rhino
Whether facing a charging rhino, trekking with camels over rugged terrain, or not flinching when a cameraman has moved in too close, Simson Uri-Khob is unflappable. He has to be, as life has taken him a long way from his hometown of Witvlei to his current position as Director of Field Operations for the Save the Rhino Trust. Simson acknowledges those who have paved the way for conservation in Namibia and hopes to likewise pass on his passion and knowledge to the next generation.
Viktoria Keding and the elusive golden mole
Director and co-founder of the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET), Viktoria Keding has always been passionate about environmental education. She believes that we must all live a sustainable lifestyle to create positive change for our environment and our future. NaDEET works to advocating awareness and knowledge – from providing information on the diminutive golden mole to learning about solar energy to instil environmental values in Namibia’s youth and educators.
* At this time the Win a Trip contest is open only for residents of Namibia and North America at this time.
This article appeared in the May’12 edition of FLAMINGO Magazine.