Eswatini, Mafutseni - Photo: UNDP Eswatini

Mbabane ,17 September 2020: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Eswatini National Trust Commission launched the Ngwempisi Integrated Landscape Management Plan (2020 -2030). The landscape stretches from the major town of Mankayane in the west to Sidvokodvo (Tri-cash) in the east encompassing landowners adjacent to Ngwempisi and Great Usuthu river basins.

The plan outlines how the Eswatini National Trust Commission seeks an innovative approach to land management, reduction in land use conflicts, empowering communities; and mitigate and offset potential adverse effects on the ecological, economic, and social values within the landscape. Key to the development of the plan has been the participation, negotiation, and cooperation between diverse stakeholders especially the Ngwempisi Landscape Association that will lead implementation of the plan at the community level (inclusiveness).

Speaking at the launch, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Shaima Hussein, stated “It is a pleasure to witness this launch and important to see that the ten-year plan is a forward-looking towards achieving socio-economic development, conservation, protection and managing of biodiversity objectives.  The implementation of the plan will significantly contribute to nature-based solutions for climate action and greening covid19 economic recovery efforts.

Developed under the auspices of the Strengthening the National Protected Areas System of Eswatini (SNPAS) Project implemented by the Eswatini National Trust Commission (ENTC), the Ngwempisi Integrated Landscape Management Plan supports the strengthening of efforts towards the enforcement of the country’s enacted environmental laws, policies and strategies with the aim to intensify conservation efforts to safeguard the landscape’s rich biodiversity. Key to the SNPAS project is cultivating improved communication and collaboration amongst landscape stakeholders, through the landscape approach, through provision of platforms to share and discuss views and aspirations regarding biodiversity conservation, economic growth and social development.

Speaking at the launch, The Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, stated, "The Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs promises to mentor and support the Ngwempisi Landscape Association Management Committee as they implement the objectives outlined. As pioneers of this initiative, he pleaded with the residents of this landscape to be exemplary to the rest of the nation by adhering to the country’s environmental laws, promoting safety, improving communication and committing to harmony since they will be using this landscape to showcase the model."

The National Trust Commission, through the SNPAS project, remains committed to support all Chiefdoms and Private Landowners who have expressed the intent to legally gazette their conservation areas. The presence and commitment of the Regional Administrator, government officials and government agencies, is an indication that indeed the Ngwempisi Landscape has made good progress in attempting to transform mindsets and improving the wellbeing of its people in a sustainable manner,It is also worth noting that the support from traditional authorities shows that this integrated landscape management plan is anchored upon solid ground.

END

For more information:

Sakhile Nsingwane

United Nations Development Programme

UN House | Somhlolo Road, Mbabane, ESWATINI

Tel +268 2409 6659

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