New hub to boost communities in fight for conservation

John Kasaona

Namibia has taken a significant step towards empowering local communities in their conservation efforts with the launch of a dedicated Community Conservation Innovation Hub on Earth Day.

The Namibian Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation launched the hub in Windhoek on Monday.

The organisation’s executive director, John Kasaona, said the hub would provide a platform for communities to come together and work on ways to collaborate on the conservation of the planet.

“This is a new beginning and a major milestone in the shared vision to safeguard and preserve our natural resources,” he said.

Kasaona said the platform provides the opportunity for community conservation.

He commended the efforts of various communities in preserving natural resources.

The hub is a step forward in community conservation efforts in Namibia, he said.

Community conservation recognises the value of wildlife and natural resources in communal areas and empowers local communities to manage and use these resources sustainably.

Earth Day was observed on Monday, with this year’s theme being ‘Planet vs Plastics’, emphasising the critical nature of protecting our environment and conserving natural resources, while also spotlighting the importance of shifting towards sustainable and renewable energy sources.

Speaking at the same event, the deputy minister of environment, forestry and tourism, Heather Sibungo, said the main aim of the theme is to encourage individuals to reduce their use of plastic.

She said Namibia’s dedication to conservation efforts is commendable.

The country has stuck to its conservation guidelines outlined in the Namibian Constitution for the past three years, she said.

“Today we stand determined in our commitment to honour the promises made 35 years ago. Our dedication to protecting our heritage runs deep within our hearts,” Sibungo said.

By launching the Community Conservation Innovation Hub, the Namibian Association of Community-Based Natural Resource Management Support Organisations provides a platform for communities to exchange ideas, share best practices, and access resources to enhance their conservation efforts.

Juliane Zeidler, the country director for the World Wildlife Fund, said the hub would act as a working space.

“The vision is not only to have an office space, but to have a training facility for all of you and all of us,” she said.

Zeidler said the hub’s launch marks a significant milestone in the journey to sustainable conservation and community empowerment in Namibia.

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