of the Permanent Secretary
Namibian Coast is placed under total conservation
declaration of the Dorob National Park on 1 December 2010 the
last piece of the puzzle has finally been laid into place, thus
converting the total Namibian coast into the eighth largest
protected area in the world and the largest park in Africa –
called the Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park.
The fact that the Government of the Republic of Namibia
declared this last section of the Namibian coastline as a
national park during 2010, being the International Year of
Biodiversity, underlines the country’s role and commitment
towards global, regional and national conservation and
The Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park stretches along the
total length of the Namibian coastline of 1 570 km, covering an
area of 10 754 million hectares or 107 540 km2. It
comprises four main terrestrial Management Areas, the
Sperrgebiet National Park in the south, the Namib-Naukluft Park,
the Skeleton Coast Park and now the Dorob National Park. At its
narrowest the park extends about 25 km inland and at its widest
in the Namib Naukluft Park reaches about 180 km inland.
The proclamation of this protected area represents one of
Namibia’s greatest conservation achievements since its
Independence in 1990, and one of the most significant
developments in the history of conservation in this country.
The park will also not exist in isolation as it borders on the
Richtersveld in South Africa, the Iona National Park in Angola
and various communal conservancies inland.
of Dorob National Park
According the Notice No. 266 in the Government Gazette of the
Republic of Namibia of 1 December 2010, the Dorob National Park
was declared as a game park in terms of section 14 (2) of the
Nature Conservation Ordinance, 1975 (Ordinance No. 4 of 1975).
The Ministry, through the Namibian Coast Conservation
Management Project (NACOMA) had consultations with various
stakeholders in the Erongo Region to come up with an appropriate
name for the park. The Topnaar Traditional Authority proposed
the name Dorob National Park, which was acceptable to all
Dorob means dry land. According to the oral history of the
desert people in the 16th century, the area between
Lüderitz and Walvis Bay and up to the Kunene River was known as
Doro-IHub or Dry Land.
The central coast is one of
Namibia’s most important tourist and holiday destinations. Some
visitors to the coast still have a perception that the entire
central area of the coast is available for off-road vehicle
Although numerous areas were
specifically zoned for off-road driving under this Ordinance,
people still chose to use vehicles outside of these areas.
Information brochures that provided guidance on the areas that
could be utilized by off-road driving enthusiasts were
continuously disseminated over the last 5 years, particularly
over holidays. However, these materials were widely ignored
resulting in immense destruction to the environment.
Under section 95(l) of the
Namibian Constitution, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism
has the obligation to maintain “ecosystems, essential ecological
processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilization of
living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit
of all Namibians, both present and future.” In order to
begin restoration of the coastal environment and its biological
diversity, Cabinet decided to declare and gazette the central
Namibian coast as Dorob National Park.
The Dorob National Park extends southwards from the Ugab River
to where it
intersects the northern boundary of the Namib Naukluft Park.
boundary is determined by the low water mark intersecting the
Atlantic Ocean and its eastern border runs along the
eastern boundary of the old National West Coast Tourist
Recreation Area and the Walvis Bay Magisterial District
excludes all towns, railways, major, minor and district roads
and their reserves and privately owned land.
Implications of gazetting of the Dorob National Park
The Nature Conservation Ordinance 4 of 1975
was promulgated in order to serve as a legal framework for
nature conservation in Namibia, including park management. This
ordinance is applicable to all parks of Namibia, including the
newly gazetted Dorob National Park.
The enforcement of this Act is facilitated by a set of generic
regulations, which will be implemented to ensure sound
management of the Dorob National Park until the specific draft
regulations for the Dorob National Park are gazetted.
Joint staff from the local
authorities, NAMPOL and MFMR worked together with MET officers
in a combined law enforcement/ crime prevention effort. The
results were a much quieter season especially around Swakopmund
and Walvis Bay. MET staff issued 145 fines on the Erongo coast,
MFMR and NAMPOL also issued many fines.
It is clear that regulations need to be finalized, a park budget
approved and an office in Henties Bay may be necessary.
Similarly, the MET is looking forward to implementation of the
Environmental Management Act and the Protected Area and Wildlife
Management Acts. We urge our officers to be courteous and firm
and give guidance and advice to the general public.
Dr. K Shangula