The first networking meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity / IUCN ‘Tourism partnerships and concessions in protected areas: Cooperating for success’ took place at iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site between 30 May and 2 June 2017.
Participants included 32 representatives of 13 countries: Botswana, Canada, Lesotho, Madagascar Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The delegates were representatives of government ministries of tourism and environment, protected area agencies, and tourism boards.
Over the course of four days, the delegates worked through a series of presentations and working group sessions that provided opportunities to share experiences, and learn from one another. They shared stories of their successes and challenges they had experienced, and also options for improving concessioning and partnership processes in their protected areas.
Field trips into the iSimangaliso World Heritage Site allowed people to discuss investment and community issues with park staff, discuss issues with concessionaires, and also see the type of infrastructure to enhance the visitor experience.
Two more workshops will follow in June 2017, in Namibia, hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), and in Mozambique, hosted by the Administracao Nacional de Areas de Conservacao (ANAC).
This program is financed with generous financial support of the Governments of Germany and the Republic of Korea.
Photographs (c) Paul Eagles