In an attempt to protect species and limit the alarming loss of biodiversity, nature reserves kept completely isolated from humans are being created all around the world.
For its part, Namibia wants to take on the challenge of protecting the environment not just within its wonderful national parks but at the heart of society itself.
Fully aware that ecology can help economic and social development rather than slow it down, Namibia manages to protect growing populations of rhinoceroses, elephants and lions in complete freedom.
So how can we bring human life and wildlife protection together? The NGOs TOSCO and NACSO have completely changed the way we think and have given us different clues to help answer this question.
« We don’t realize how much efforts it is to live with wildlife. In Europe we hardly managed to live with bears and wolves and here people are still living with mega fauna like rhinos, elephants and lions.”
“Because, just as it is also in France or in Europe, we won’t make any effort to preserve wildlife if there are not some interests behind it.”
“When we started the program in 1994, the rhinoceros nearly became extinct, especially the black rhino, we’ve seen them coming back !”
Maxi Pia Louis
“We like the elephants because, it’s because of the elephants that we have guests every time, so as long as we are here, we’ll be friends now.”
« The environment is the business of everybody, not only the people working in the tourism industry or not only the ministry or the scientists, it is really something that everybody should work on and have a responsability.”
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Why this video report?
While we originally wanted to focus on responsible tourism, thanks to TOSCO founder Félix Vallat we set off to do something much bigger.
When we first arrived in Namibia, we discovered the concept of “Conservancies”. We evaluated the difficulties of preserving the environment and biodiversity of a region and understood the similarities shared with Western countries.
Maxi, from NACSO, explained in detail the system set up in Namibia to promote both the preservation of natural resources and the social and economic development of the country. With help from the government and local communities, this group of NGOs is succeeding in promoting the conservation of wildlife species outside nature reserves and proves, as biodiversity is collapsing all over the world, that it’s possible to act differently.
Our opinion on tourism and hunting has greatly evolved, as has our vision of the links between people and their environment.
Many concepts that are particularly important to us are mentioned in this video, which really caught our attention. This experience reaffirmed our commitment to this project!
Many thanks to Félix, Maxi, Blandine and Rebecca for giving us such a warm welcome and helping us discover this magnificent country up close.
Title: Living with Wildlife
With the participation of: Felix Vallat, Maxi Pia Louis, Blandine Tourian & Rebecca Adams
Length: 33 min
Subtitles available: French and English
Main locations: Damaraland and Etosha National Park
Additional pictures: Blandine Tourain and Rachel Harris
Serengeti Dawn by Terry Devine-King
Land of no return by Sonia Slany & Paul Clarvis
Neutral by Lincoln Grounds & Richard Rayner
Echo Valley by Barrie Gledden, Richard Lacy & Simeon Wood
Apollo Rising by Terry Devine-King
Fish River Canyon by Peter Mayne & Ian Tripp