Eseb Nature Conservancy a vehicle to combat poverty

Eseb Nature Conservancy a vehicle to combat poverty

Eileen van der Schyff

The !Oe Gan traditional authority seated at Okombahe, under the leadership of Mr. Gerson Gurirab, is tackling poverty and unemployment head-on through the establishment of the Eseb Nature Conservancy. The Conservancy was established in 2017 and enjoys support from the Office of the Governor of Erongo.

The conservancy’s focus is solely on tourism and various ownership models within tourism. These include conservancy-owned lodges, joint venture lodges between communities and private sector investors, campsites (conservancy-community owned); trophy hunting concessions, own-use hunting concessions and alternative hunting (for example bow-hunting) concessions.
Gurirab explained the Conservancy places a high premium on traditional rights, customary traditions and the involvement of all community members. In this way the Concession promotes transparency and all stakeholders remain united in a common purpose.
Ownership. According to Gurirab ownership of tourism assets must strike a balance. On the one end the Conservancy wants to own its tourism assets, but investors too need owner-ship in order to have a return on investment. Investment and long-term ownership can only be lured if accountable and responsible ownership are promoted.
The Conservancy also wants to see skills be developed for locals to manage and operate tourism assets. In this case mentorship will also play a key role.
The community in the !Oe Gan traditional authority area sees potential in the Conservancy to generate income. The Conservancy management urges its members in the area to register for membership and attend meetings.
Temporary elected conservancy committee members were nominated to represent the members on the steering committee. The !Oe Gan traditional authority also envisages to make room for youth and disabled persons in its constitution.
The constituency required sites for hospitality businesses and has prospects for possible mining. The Eseb Nature Conservancy is surrounded by the Gaingu and Tsiseb Conservancy that also benefits from natural resources in the area and supports the initiative as brothers and sisters.
The constituency will have a meeting where they will invite members to discuss minimal issues with the finalisation of the Conservancy Constitution. During this meeting, measures to develop the constitution will be discussed with a full presentation of the viability of the Conservancy.
The meeting will be conducted at the Conservancy tree in Okombahe 23 – 24 December. Good Samaritans and individuals and companies who want to support the cause can contact Gerson Gurirab at 081 555 8919/ 081 773 2335/ 081 555 8935 or email ghragerson@gmail.com

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