Friday, February 11, 2011

Entire coastline of Namibia is designated a national park!

Namibia has become what is thought to be the first country to allocate its entire coastline a national park.
The Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park covers 26.6 million acres, making it larger than Portugal.
It stretches for 976 miles (1,570km), from the Kunene River, at the northern border with Angola, to the Orange River, on the border with South Africa and Zimbabwe, and is expected to be promoted as a unified destination. The protected coastline consolidates three national parks: Skeleton Coast, Namib-Naukluft and Sperrgebiet. The last is the site of Namibia’s diamond mines, which have long been closed to the public.
The national park does not stop at the national borders – at the southern end it connects with South Africa’s Richetersveld National Park, while in the north it is linked to Angola’s Iona National Park. Some coastal roads are good, particularly in Dorob National Park, but there is no pan-Namibian highway.
Historically, Namibia has been a trailblazer in using tourism to fund conservation, and has encouraged tribal communities to set up conservation areas, which they manage sustainably in order to keep poaching at bay and to attract tourism. The aim of the new park is to rein in environmentally damaging activities and encourage tourism.
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