Windhoek, 22 January 2018 – On the backdrop of having helped five young disadvantaged women from the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) and Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) have embarked on assisting another group of ten unemployed youth from the Hai-//om San and Ovahimba communities to be trained in hospitality and tracking. The latest training commenced on 22 January 2018 in Graaff-Reinet, South Africa.
The central goal of the training is to empower the previously disadvantaged youth to acquire viable skills that they can make use of to provide for themselves and their respective communities. This initiative forms part of a continuous youth development programme that NWR through its mandate from the two Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) partner countries to develop tourism in Southern Namibia and Northern South Africa is facilitating.
Mrs Zelna Hengari, NWR’s Managing Director, said that “having been part of the team that saw the five young women graduate last year, I am pleased with the growth of this programme since its inception. As NWR, we are privileged to be in a position to give back to our surrounding communities. Through this training, we aim to create a skilled generation that is knowledgeable about the sector we operate within”.
Discussions to develop Transfrontier links between South Africa and Namibia date back to 2000. These discussions bore fruit in 2003 when the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Minister of Environment and Tourism, respectively signed the international treaty that signalled the establishment of the first Transfrontier Park in SADC, namely the /Ai-/Ais Transfrontier Park (TP). The /Ais-/Ais – Richtersveld TP is shared between Namibia and South Africa; Kavango Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) is shared among Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe and emerging TFCA of Iona – Skeleton Coast shared between Angola and Namibia.
Similarly, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has adopted an approach to join counterparts in joint management of natural resources across political boundaries. This approach explores the concept of TFCA’s which is defined according to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement of 1999 as a component of a large ecological region that links boundaries of two or more countries including one or more protected areas with multiple resource use areas. Very exciting cross-border tourism activities/ products such as Desert Knights mountain bike tour, Desert Kayak trails and Wildrun have since been developed in the /Ai-/Ais Transfrontier Park.