NYS partners with MEFT

By Rosalia David

NATIONAL Youth Service (NYS) has entered into an agreement with the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) to contribute to the conservation and protection of the country’s wildlife resources.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that took place yesterday, NYS commissioner Felix Musukubili said, NYS will avail a good number of former trainees at their disposal to support the ministry to provide labour at various national parks on a voluntary basis.

“Through this scheme, our trainees will gain the necessary exposure and experience necessary for employment opportunities should such employment opportunities become available in future. They would be therefore at a competitive advantage,” he explained.

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In the same vein, Musukubili said, it is per the NYS mandate to perform voluntary service on government projects of national importance and making a contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.

He further stated that the agreement presents great opportunity for the NYS trainees to contribute to the conservation of the country’s wildlife resources which is one of the key contributors to GDP.

“The MoU spells out collaboration areas of mutual benefit of our two institutions. The area includes rehabilitation of the boundary fence of the Etosha National Park and other national parks and to provide manpower for the construction of water points in national parks and conservancies.”

Through the agreement, NYS will be participating in anti-poaching efforts, tree planting campaigns and distribution of trees and seedlings to identified communities while providing manpower during Game Capture exercise participation in the National Parks Youth Internship Programme.

According to Musukubili, in respect of Gemsbok Pan Farm, NYS will also be cooperating in wildlife management and breeding while participating in the ‘Friends of the Park Programme’.

He further urged other stakeholders including ministries and agencies, local and regional authorities and State Owned Enterprises to consider tapping from the NYS reservoir of trained, committed and disciplined youth for projects.

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“We have the capacity in various occupational trades to participate in the developmental projects in the country.

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Given our youth endurance gained through civic training, any opportunity provided, we shall participate fully including labour intensive projects,” he said.

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MEFT Executive Director Teofilus Nghitila applauded the NYS on the agreement saying that the covenant comes at a time when the ministry is in need of skills from the youth in its operations.

“The origin of this Memorandum of Understanding dates back to the 12th National Youth Week which was held last year in Kamanjab under the theme ‘Namibian Youth – United for Wildlife Conservation’.

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“During that week, the Ministry engaged with representatives from the youth across the country in undertaking practical activities linked to mitigating human wildlife conflict and maintaining the Etosha National Park boundary fence,” he said.

Nghitila went on to state that the 12th National Youth Week resulted in a declaration which urged the Ministry to develop and establish dedicated programmes to employ and build the capacity of the Namibian youth on matters relating to wildlife conservation and nature­based tourism.

He said, “It is my pleasure to state here that the Ministry has developed two important programmes to do just that -namely the Friends of the Parks Programme and the National Parks Youth Internship Programme.

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These programmes seek to involve and empower the youth in a broad range of activities linked to the management of our national parks.

Already under the Friends of the Parks Programme, the National Youth Service has provided valuable support and assistance to the ministry with regard to the repair and maintenance of the Etosha National Park Fence.”