WINDHOEK: The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) has honoured Namibia with the prestigious 2012 Markhor Award, given in recognition of a country’s efforts to empower locals to look after their own natural resources.
Namibia’s successes in wildlife conservation earned this award, which was received during the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India on Thursday.
CIC, in a media statement issued on Friday, said the Namibia’s High Commissioner to India Dr. Samuel Mbambo received the award on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Tourism Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, as well as the Namibian Association of Community-Based Natural Resource Management Support Organisations (NACSO), who jointly claimed the award.
“This award will be a motivating factor for us to do even more in the area of conservation, particularly based on the understanding that the sustainable utilisation of our natural resources is key,” said Mbambo.
The CIC Markhor Award recognises and celebrates outstanding conservation performance by personalities, private and government institutions, enterprises, or conservation projects that link the conservation of biodiversity and human livelihoods through the application of the principles of sustainable use, in particular hunting, as part of wildlife and ecosystem management.
President of the CIC Bernard Lozé was quoted as saying that it is not every day that people receive news about success stories in the field of nature and wildlife conservation.
“As such, Namibia should serve as a prime example in terms of its innovative approaches to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, in particular its wildlife. Sustainable hunting serves as a means to alleviate poverty and promote rural development,” said Lozé.
Secretariat Co-ordinator of NACSO, Maxi Louis, who also attended the event, said Namibians live together with wildlife in successful co-existence.
“In Namibia, our people made a choice to say – we will live with wildlife and we do, with great success!” she added.
The media statement said wildlife has become a valuable asset for locals to conserve, and this provides a strong catalyst for the recovery of wildlife in the Communal areas of Namibia. This in turn has meant that poaching is now increasingly considered as socially unacceptable.
“Namibia has shown us, once again, that the empowerment of local human populations to look after and care for their own natural resources is conducive to the recovery of wildlife numbers and their conservation for generations to come,” the statement added.