NAM-PLACE is a five-year project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to an amount of US$ 4.5 million and is aimed at the establishment of the landscape conservations areas necessary for the conservation of country’s biodiversity as well as the stimulation of sustainable social and economic development. The proposed landscapes will ensure that land use practices are of areas adjacent to existing protected areas are compatible with biodiversity conservation. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Environment & Tourism (MET) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the implementation agency.
The project intents to bring an additional 15,550 km² of land under protected landscapes management arrangements, designed to conserve biodiversity at a larger scale, rather than individual patches of land units. The project has five demonstration sites where this will be demonstrated and attained.
These are the:
- Mudumu Landscape in the north-east
- the Greater Waterberg
- the Windhoek Green Belt landscapes in central Namibia
- the Greater Sossusvlei-Namib
- the Greater Fish River Canyon landscapes in the south of the country
Namibia's Environment Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said in the keynote address held at the official inauguration of NAM-PLACE "[...] A growing demand to create more conservancies across the country is an indication of the Ministry’s Community-Based Natural Resource Management programme’s successes. Therefore Government, communities and private sector, in total have close to half of the country, an astonishing 42% earmarked for conservation. This is a remarkable achievement noting that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recommends that each country must set aside at least 15% of its total area for conservation purposes. [...]"
Ambitious plans, Namibia, but very good plans!