WINDHOEK, Namibia – Residents and visitors to the coast, especially the Dorob National Park, are urged to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of the park to mitigate ruin to its unique biodiversity.
The plea was made by Namibian Coast Conservation and Management (Nacoma) as well as the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MET) that co-protect the fragile park in the Erongo Region.
During a media briefing on Friday, Nacoma coordinator Rod Braby said that transgressions of laws have been noted, particularly by off-road drivers.
He says the increase could be attributed to the fact that some visitors and residents are not yet familiar with the applicable laws that came into force in 2010.
He however says there has been a tremendous improvement in biodiversity, which shows Namibians are somehow adhering to the rules and regulations.
Braby says any person entering the ORV area (the Dune Belt between Langstrand and Walvis Bay) by vehicle, quad-bike or other motorised bikes needs a permit. However, no permit is required when driving on park routes or in other permitted areas.
Permits can be obtained at the offices of fisheries and marine resources.
“Beach driving is only authorised on MET designated and clearly marked routes, tracks and roads. Camping in the Dorob National Park is also only allowed with a permit and at officially designated sites,” stated Braby.
Thus, he says, visitors and residents should make use of the information brochures distributed at various points at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund to ensure compliance.
The Dorob National Park rules and regulations pamphlet of last year includes detailed maps indicating relevant routes to access areas and guidelines.
These regulations will give clarity to the public about what is allowed and prohibited in the fragile park.
“The basic intentions of these regulations are to protect the unique biodiversity while simultaneously allowing regulated activities to minimise land destruction,” he further explained.
He added that residents should especially take note of information pertaining to activities such as permits for fishing, camping, off-road driving and quad-bike riding.
“All of us should be responsible custodians that take care of the country’s most important and sensitive assets,” stated the coastal environmentalist.
He explained that Namibia’s coastline is a diverse valuable important asset to the country not only because it contributes to the economy, but also because of its scenic beauty that makes it one of the major tourist attractions.