Lack of awareness about the coastal environment and the value of biodiversity has been identified as one of the main bottlenecks for sustainable coastal development in Namibia. NACOMA has invested in awareness and education initiatives that particularly focus on the coastal environment. Such initiatives are essential for skills development, knowledge improvement and significantly contributing to the promotion of responsible environmental behaviour.
Awareness and Education initiatives implemented by NACOMA:
Everyone can make a difference to the coastal environment. NACOMA creates awareness among all Namibians and visitors about the value of the coast to foster improved protection and sustainable use of the coastal environment and its resources.
Revamped NACOMA Coastodian logo
The Government of the Republic of Namibia through its Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) in collaboration with other line ministries, with support of the NACOMA project and other stakeholders introduced a coastal awareness campaign for encouraging Namibians and visitors to promote biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of the natural resources and development in harmony with Namibia's coast.
NACOMA LOGO MEANING
NACOMA’s Coastodian logo was derived from the words custodian and coast. Custodian implies a person(s) who has the responsibility to look after something and be accountable for it, hence the name: Coastodian, and the slogan: Caring for the coast – Caring for the future.
This colourful logo spearheads a sustained awareness campaign for Namibia’s coast and is widely applied to ensure its effectiveness and impact. The logo depicts stylized humans, holding hands – emphasizing Namibians collective obligation towards safeguarding the coastal areas and natural assets. The yellow and orange colours of the dunes symbolize energy and the longevity of the Namib Desert. The blue sea represents the Atlantic Ocean’s life-giving Benguela Current. The circle encompasses the harmony between mankind and nature, while the green represents biodiversity, renewability and growth.
What Namibia wishes for is that people state: “I am a Coastodian, are you?
Objectives of the COASTODIAN awareness campaign
The objectives of the awareness campaign are to:
The campaign is currently managed by the NACOMA project on behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
Resource book for learners and teachers about the Namibian coast: COASTODIANS: Caring for our coast, Caring for our future
COASTODIANS is a resource book that has been designed as an aid to environmental education, with particular focus on the Namibian coast. It contains information on the usual and important nature of the Namibian coast, the coastal resources, as well as fascinating facts and a variety of activities to challenge learners at school. It documents information that will help people to understand their physical environments and to understand how people are connected to the land, the animals and to each other. The topics included in this book range from biology to conservation, from English to the arts.
Follow the link for an electronic copy: http://www.nacoma.org.na/information-centre/info.php?doc=2
Film about the Namibian coast: The Namib Desert coast
"The Namib Desert Coast" is a 25 minute documentary about the Namibian coast that was produced by Francois Odendaal Productions. The film was officially launched on 30 July 2009 in Swakopmund.
Home to animals that swim in the sand, plants that grow for thousands of years, and such environmental extremes that, at times, fish walk out of the water, Namibia’s coast is a fascinating place, rich in history and biodiversity. It is worth exploring, learning more about, and certainly worth protecting. Stretching some 1570 kms from the border with South Africa in the south to the border with Angola in the north, our coast is also home to human settlements and industries such as mining, fishing and tourism that contribute significantly to the nation’s economy. Increasing human pressures over the past years highlight the urgent need for sound coastal planning and management to ensure sustainable and optimal use of coastal areas and their resources for future generations. Now is the time for all Namibians and visitors to rally together to conserve and use wisely our unique coastal and marine environment. This film presents the beauty, diversity and resources of our coastal environment and encourages us to be COASTODIANS, caring for our coast, caring for our future.
The film can be viewed on here under the section Our Coast.
To obtain DVDs of the “Namib Desert Coast” film., please contact the NACOMA office .
Honorary Coastodians Awards
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has made efforts to acknowledge and honour the contributions of individuals who played significant roles in the promotion of the conservation of the natural resources and environment along the coast. These individuals are honoured with recognition and are referred to as “Honorary Coastodians”. Through the Coastodian campaign, the NACOMA Project in collaboration with various coastal stakeholders have assisted MET to nominate the Honorary Coastodians. A total of four commendable individuals are acknowledged at a time for their work and involvement towards the protection and sustainable use of the coast and its resources.
Awareness Campaign for Coastal holiday seasons
The seriousness and commitment of various government and private stakeholders approach towards the conservation, sustainable development and integrated management of the coast’s natural resources is being reflected by the nearly one million Namibian Dollars contributed to ensure that the damage to the environment is limited to the minimum during the Easter and December holidays.
Since the inception of the NACOMA Project in 2006, the private sector has donated over N$2.5 million to further the cause of conservation and sustainable development.
The following organisations have contributed significantly to assisting the MET in past seasons: Rio Tinto (Rössing Uranium Limited); BirdLife International (Rio Tinto – Partnership Action Fund); Levo Tours; Fantom Film – Reel Media; Namib Film; Living Desert Tours; Tommy’s Tours; Desert Explorers; Key Plan; Areva; MTC; Walfish Electric; Indongo Toyota; Dare Devil Adventures; Dune 7 adventures; Outback Orange; Rentec; The Municipalities of Walvis Bay, Henties Bay and Swakopmund; the Erongo Regional Council; Roads Authority; Wesbank transport; Baard Transport; and Salz Gossow.
The media have also contributed significantly to raise awareness though broadcasts, printed articles and radio announcements.
In 2014, 1 374 602 tourists visited the country, with Swakopmund and the surrounding coastline becoming the most-visited location in Namibia, surpassing the Etosha National Park. The pressures on the coast’s natural resources are mounting. These include an ever-increasing population with corresponding demands for employment, education, health services and housing. More and more tourists are visiting Namibia.The advent of large-scale uranium mining in the Erongo Region and its coastline is bringing additional pressure on the basic elements of water, air, soil and energy, while climate change will have significant effects on the Namib and its coastline.
Nearly 18 000 people are directly or indirectly employed by the tourism sector at the coast. If each of them would take care of three dependents, a large number of people would be relying on the income from this sector. It important that visitors showing respect for the environment and adhering to the off-road rules.
The Coastal Biodiversity Week is a bi-annual week that take place in June and September each year. The aim of the week is to raise awareness and education on the conservation as well as sustainable utilization of the coast’s natural resources and environment. The week is celebrated in coastal town and is targeted to school learner, the general public and stakeholders. NACOMA facilitates the weeks with various stakeholders to compile a list of educational activities to raise awareness on our precious coast line. Activities include (but no limited) to street processions to kick start the week, screening of environmental films in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, Mr and Miss Coastodian (Young Environmental Ambassadors search), Boat tours for underprivileged school learners, public lectures on environmental topics, bird watching field trips, NACOMA fundraising events for the Environmental Education Scholarships and International coastal beach clean ups n September each year.
For more information on how to get involved in the June and September Coastal Biodiversity Weeks, please contact NACOMA .
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