Rehoboth Baster Community

Rehoboth Acacia forest is celebrated on Arbor Day

Published by Oct 12, 1999

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A senior Environment and Tourism official told hundreds of Rehoboth residents that Rehoboth's Acacia Forest was a unique formation in the southern part of Namibia and it had good potential as a tourist site.

Addressing Arbor Day celebrations at Rehoboth's Acacia Forest last Friday, Forestry Director, Dr Harry Kojwang, congratulated the Rehoboth community for having agreed that the Forestry Directorate could declare the Acacia Park a community forest reserve.

In Namibian cultures women and children are the custodians of the earth and their attendance on Friday demonstrated that environmental concerns are not the preserve of the male-dominated world, he said.

"If anything, our women and children are often the first ones that have to suffer and endure the difficulties associated with a degraded environment," he stated.

"They have every right to challenge us and demand that government policies are consistent with the principles of sustainable management of natural resources and the reduction of poverty in the rural areas," Kojwang added.

As people planted trees in the whole country they should continue demanding the services of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism while at the same time time remembering their responsibilities with regard to the environment.

"Therefore just as we take care of trees we have bought and planted, we should treat naturally growing trees with respect and use them as long as we also give them a chance to survive and regenerate to continue providing. This is our aim," Kojwang said.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has started sourcing funds to prepare a management plan for the Acacia Forest, and interviews have already been conducted to employ one of the residents as a forest guard.

Addressing the same meeting, Veronica De Klerk, the manager of Women's Action for Development said this year's National Arbor Day celebrations in Namibia "assumes a special significance because, for the first time in Namibia, members of WAD are jointly participating across the country, as an organised group, in the activities of tree-planting."

For the first time WAD, an organisation which aims to empower primarily rural women, would be joining the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in the Omusati, Kunene, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Hardap to plant as many trees as they possibly could, she said.

Source: Namibian