BATS | STEWARD | Okavango River Basin | Burundi | Congo Basin | Ethiopia | Ghana | Guinea |
Gulf of Guinea | Kenya | Liberia | Madagascar | Mali | Mozambique | Namibia | Nigeria | Senegal |
Sierra Leone | South Africa | Tanzania | Virunga Mountains | Zambezi | African Leadership Seminar
Overview of USFS support to Millennium Challenge Corporation
In Namibia, tourism is the third most important and fastest-growing industry. It has the potential to create employment in remote rural areas, where communities have few other options for income generation. Recognizing the link between tourism and poverty alleviation, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has forged an agreement with the Government of Namibia, investing $66 million in the tourism sector.
Because of US forest Service’s experience and leadership in planning and managing recreation activities on national forests, MCC has engaged USFS expertise in completing a “due diligence” study to determine the feasibility of proposed tourism activities by the Namibian Government, the contribution that proposed activities are likely to make to poverty alleviation, and the consistency with social and environmental guidelines. This due diligence process is a precursor to MCC approval of any investment agreement with a recipient country.
To perform this assessment, US Forest Service employees traveled to Namibia on multiple occasions in 2007 and visited sites where future investment in tourism infrastructure, such as visitor lodges, national park management offices, and information centers, will be situated. The US Forest Service continues its support to MCC and the Government of Namibia by providing technical assistance to the tourism sector.
Okavango Integrated River Basin Management
As part of US Forest Service’s support to USAID’s Southern Africa Program through the Okavango Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) Project, USFS plans to assist work with the Namibian Forest Department to conduct a Fire Management Training in August 2008, in Rundu, Namibia. This training targets community members from Namibia and Angola. Course topics will include: causes of forest fire, fire ecology, fire chemistry, fire behavior, effects of weather, fuel loads identification and assessment, fire as a management tool, fire fighting crews, general fire management strategies, fire control, fire prevention, fire suppression, cutline construction and maintenance, and fire fighting equipment and use
Southern Africa Higher Education Initiative
For several years, US Forest Service has been an active partner in the Consortium for International Protected Area Management (CIPAM.) In this capacity, we help sponsor several international seminars in the US for participants from around the world each year; these seminars focus on matters related to protected area management, forest administration and management, and watershed management. US Forest Service has also actively partnered with the University of Montana and the University of KwaZulu-Natal to specifically support managers and future land managers in southern Africa. We are proud to have supported the University of KwaZulu-Natal in developing a masters program in Protected Area Management. We have also worked with these partners to develop the African Leadership Seminar (ALS) in order to support decision-makers in the southern African conservation sector.
In April 2008, USFS participated in a scoping / planning mission in Zambia and Namibia with a team from University of Montana and University of KwaZulu-Natal; during the course of this mission, the team met with Copperbelt University and University of Namibia faculty and staff. The team explored the idea of broadening the consortium to include universities in southern Africa beyond KwaZulu-Natal; specifically Copperbelt University and University of Namibia, both of which had previously expressed their interest in such a consortium. The mission confirmed that there is indeed much interest in formally establishing a consortium between these 4 universities ( University of Montana, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Copperbelt University, and University of Namibia,) with technical assistance from the US Forest Service. All partners are keen to move ahead with this consortium, and are in agreement that civil society must be included as a key partner to any work that is undertaken by consortium actors. Government officials with whom the team met in Zambia and Namibia are also keen to support linkages between institutions of higher education, civil society, and government. To these ends, and as a "first step," US Forest Service is happy to sponsor Zambian participants from the Forestry Department (Ministry of Tourism, Environment, and Natural Resources,) and Copperbelt University to attend the International Seminar on Protected Area Management in Montana this August, in order to support the beginning of concerted government - university collaboration. USFS and the University of Montana also plan to sponsor Namibian participants from University of Namibia and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to attend this seminar.
US Forest Service is dedicated to working to support linkages between government land management agencies, institutions of higher education, and civil society within the region of southern Africa.
Partners and Relevant Websites
Government of Namibia Millennium Challenge Account website: http://www.npc.gov.na/mca/activities.jsp
International Seminar on Protected Area Management website: http://www.fs.fed.us/global/is/ispam/welcome.htm
University of KwaZulu-Natal Protected Area Management Masters Degree Programme http://www.protected-landscapes.org/Protected-area_management_Masters.html
USFS Namibia reports on FRAME:
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