When Namibia gained independence in 1990, teenager Pascolena Florry was herding goats in the country’s dry, desolate northern savannah. Her job, unpaid and dangerous, was to protect her parents’ livestock from preying jackals and leopards. She saw wildlife as the enemy, and many of the other indigenous inhabitants of Namibia’s rural communal lands shared her view. Wildlife poaching was commonplace. Fifteen years later, 31 year old Pascolena’s life and outlook are very different. She has built a previously undreamed of career in tourism and is the first black Namibian to be appointed manager of a guest lodge. Her village, and hundreds of others, have directly benefited from government efforts to devolve management and tourism development on communal lands to conservancies run by indigenous peoples. “Now we see the wildlife as our way of creating jobs and opportunities as the tourism industry grows,” she says. “The future is better with wildlife around, not only for jobs, but also for the environment”.Total Word Count: 0Answer (score 79+):
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