Legend of parks and conservation diesBy: ADAM HARTMAN
BEN Beytell, who retired last year as director of parks and wildlife management in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism died in the Windhoek State Hospital yesterday morning. He was 61 years old.
His son, Piet Beytell, told The Namibian that his father died around 07h30 due to complications following a back operation. He is survived by his wife, sister, son and daughter.
Piet Beytell said a memorial service is planned for next Tuesday in Pionierspark.
Beytell retired last year after 35 years’s service to nature conservation in Namibia.
During a tree-planting event held at Dune 7 near Walvis Bay yesterday, the Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, Erica Akuenje, announced Beytell’s death to a small group of people involved in conservation and management of the Dorob National Park. A minute of silence was observed in memory of this conservation legend.
“I was shocked when I received the news. This man meant so much for parks and conservation in Namibia. It is a real loss for our nation,” Akuenje said.
The senior technical advisor for the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management project (Nacoma), Ignatius Kauvee, said a legend in conservation had passed on, and that Beytell had played a key role in the creation of parks and conseration legislation in the country.
“Here we are today in the Dorob Park; the last park given to Namibia by Ben Beytell. If it were not for him, there would be no Dorob,” Kauvee said.
A sweet-thorn tree was one of the 25 trees planted at Dune 7 as part of an environmental responsibility initiative by Suzuki Autos Namibia. Akuenje proposed that the tree be named ‘Ben Beytell’ in honour of the man.