Sustaining and conserving the environment is a way to uplift the lives of people living in such environments through tourism projects that will enable them to earn an income.
Tourist attractions such as hiking trails that were established along the Windhoek green mountain belt by Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas (Nam-Place) through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism are aimed at boosting the livelihood of farmers within the areas of the trails, as they could earn an extra income from tourists or individuals visiting their farms while hiking along such trails.
“I extend my invitation to the people of Khomas Region to take full advantage of economic opportunities such as hiking trails and make a meaningful difference in the lives of people involved. There are many tour guides, backpackers, tourism marketing businesses, avid hiking and trail running groups and others related to this venture that can make money, employ locals and as a result sustain this venture for many years,” remarked Khomas Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua at the inauguration of the 95-kilometre hiking trail at Düsternbrook farm.
Düsternbrook farm is situated approximately 40 kilometres north of Windhoek and forms part of the Windhoek green mountain belt, which includes Farm Godeis, Daan Viljoen Game Park, Otjiseva, Onduno, and Monte Christo farm. McLeod-Katjirua cautioned that “while we see economic viability and its importance in the region we should equally see the importance of landscape conservation.” At the same occasion the Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said the project aims at conserving and protecting wildlife on farms for future generations and uplifting the tourism industry, adding that it is a way of utilizing the available funds from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), before the fund lapses.
Nam-Place is a five-year project that started in 2011 with an injection of US$4.5 million. With that amount Nam-Place, apart from the hiking trail in the Windhoek green mountain belt has established four more landscape conservation projects in Mudumu National Park, Greater Waterberg, Sossusvlei-Namib and the Fish River Canyon.