WINDHOEK - Corporate partnerships have the power to contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), hence they deserve special consideration, said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in Namibia, Musinga Bandora.
“Donors, government entities, the private sector and local communities all need to work together in partnerships if Namibia and other developing economies are to meet their national development goals at a pace and with the urgency that they are required,” Bandora said during a farewell function of the Strengthening the Protected Area Network (SPAN) Project at a local hotel on Friday evening.
SPAN Project ends this year after a six-year run since 2006. The programme looked after Namibia’s protected areas and helped share benefits and responsibility between the private sector, communities and government.
It was housed under the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s (MET) Directorate of Parks and Wildlife Management.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has been providing funding through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Bandora, whose statement was read by the head of the energy and environment unit within the UNDP, Martha Mwandingi, noted that partnerships are the way to go particularly when the developing world is confronted with multiple challenges that need to be addressed by delivering results in challenging environments. “Great benefits and opportunities can come about through partnerships,” he noted.
However, there are challenges as well, and these include suspicion of others involved and lack of trust, fear of losing a separate identity, unacceptable inequalities of power and control, failure to recognise different personality types and communication styles within the partners, and lack of clarity on roles, responsibilities and leadership.
Namibia has been implementing the SPAN project through partnerships that included various ministries, government agencies and other institutions.
“Through the SPAN Project, Namibia was able to achieve more than it should, had it not embraced or encouraged partners to come on board. Further, by aiming higher MET and all its partners were able to face fears, barriers and challenges in a manner that gave all the partners hope and courage to do more,” he said.The SPAN Project was conceived to help lift barriers to improve management effectiveness in the protected area system.
The programme focused on enabling legal and policy environment and financial mechanisms for protected area management; strengthening the institutional capacity for protected area management; and demonstrating new ways of protected area management at the Bwabwata-Mudumu-Mamili Complex; the Etosha-Skeleton Coast Link; Ai-Ais Resort; and the Sperrgebiet. – Nampa