Katima Mulilo-Speaking yesterday at the opening of a three-day education conference organised by the University of Namibia (Unam) assistant pro-Vice Chancellor of Katima Mulilo Unam Campus Dr Benett Kangumu called on people residing at Impalila Island to safeguard the island’s unique biodiversity.
According to Kangumu, given that Impalila Island borders three countries, namely Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, the protection of its natural resources is very complex and difficult. Therefore, community members need to be educated on how to preserve their natural resources.
“It is highly demanding, especially but not only for higher management level, because it requires a deep understanding of environmental systems, climate and demographic change and the fact that most protected areas are used by local people for their livelihoods, such as in Impalila Island, are adding to the challenge,” Kangumu said.
Unam’s two-year research programme to transfer and share knowledge about biodiversity conservation with community members of Impalila Island began last year and they believe this awareness will be pivotal in the preservation of the island’s unique biophysical resources.
“By educating at grassroots level, we hope to inspire current and future generations to develop a passion for biodiversity. With a better appreciation and understanding of biodiversity, the importance of protecting it for years to come is truly understood,” Kangumu added.
The training aims to train community members in how to improve the protection of biodiversity, sustainable land use and the enhancement of tourism development for the benefit of the local communities.
He stressed that Unam will strive to work with communities, businesses and government agencies to ensure the continued survival and conservation of the biodiversity of Impalila Island.