People around the world celebrated World Tourism Day on 27th September. The theme this year was “Tourism and Rural Development”, a theme that is very fitting to Namibia. The rural communities relying on the tourism sector have been greatly affected due to Namibia’s lockdown due to COVID-19.
As we saw our borders closed and the international tourism sector shut down, CCF and its conservation partners came together online and started the Conservation is Not on Lockdown movement. Conservation organisations applied for recognition as “essential services” and CCF was one of many who have served to mitigate the impact of the shutdown on the rural communities. For the duration of the pandemic, we have continued our efforts in supporting communities living alongside wildlife.
For World Tourism Day we celebrated a few of our highlights. During shutdown, from the 17th March to the 18th of September 2020 CCF:
- Hosted 14 Namibian interns as a result of their tertiary education institutions closures for face-to-face learning
- Relocated and released 5 wild cheetah that had been trapped by farmers
- Vaccinated 143 domestic cats and dogs in the Okakarara rural communities
- Confirmed a litter of 6 African wild dog puppies leave their den in the high Human-Wildlife Conflict zone in the Okakarara rural communities
- Responded to 65 cases of Human-Wildlife Conflict to assist with predator ID and conflict mitigation tools
- Hosted 141 Namibian day visitors and 32 Namibian overnight guests at our Centre
- Placed 12 LSGD puppies and visited 63 working LSGD for health checks and monitoring
- Welcomed first international overnight guests on 3rd October
As we begin to open up to international travel after largely being isolated in our efforts over the past few months, it gives us hope to hear that conservation initiatives across Africa have been keeping up with core wildlife conservation activities. We have been unified in our missions across borders even in our isolation.
Now we will continue to work to ensure a swift recovery of Namibia’s tourism sector to welcome guests back. You can help us! For our supporters, new and old, who have never been to Namibia – come and visit. For those that have been to witness CCF’s conservation in action – come and visit again! CCF, and Namibia, can’t wait to welcome you.