Day 5 - September 12, 2003
Today's programme for the Community Park featured presentations, theatre, and celebrations with communities from around the world, but with a particular focus on Africa.
Day Five opened with a puppet show by representatives from the RARE Centre theatre group, and was followed by a performance of 'Nsendemila' by the Seka Malambo Drama Group of Zambia. The Seka Malambo Drama Group works on delivering key messages regarding community conservation issues to a range of stakeholder groups, particularly local communities and policy makers, through the use of lively theatre pieces. The performance outlined the conflicts that can arise between the need to conserve wildlife within protected areas and the need to ensure that the livelihoods of local communities living within and around protected areas are not adversely impacted by the management approaches adopted. The group depicted a key message - that management strategies must be developed in collaboration with the local communities who are likely to be impacted by the decisions and strategies undertaken.
Seka Malambo's performance was immediately followed by an inspiring presentation by the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park Communities Cycling Team - a group of five cyclists, 2 ladies and 5 men, who arrived in Durban yesterday, having completed a 910km community cycle ride from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa through their respective Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park corridors. En route to Durban, the cyclists visited, and engaged with, a number of local communities from around the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. The purpose of this trip was to raise awareness amongst these local communities of the need for them to participate directly in the development of park management approaches and tourism-related business strategies within and outside the Transfrontier Park. The cyclists are now focused upon bringing the community messages that they have gathered to the attention of policy makers and other delegates attending the World Parks Congress. In this way, they hope to draw the attention of delegates to the need to create opportunities for local communities around the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park to actively participate in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity within these protected areas.
The highlight of the Community Park's afternoon session was an engaging debate that took place amongst stakeholders following the showing of a film, entitled the 'Rum Business', filmed by the Bedouin of Wadi Rum, Jordan. The film depicted ways in which their mobile pastoral livelihoods had been impacted by the development of the tourism industry within the area and the appropriation of their rangelands to create a National Park. The debate, which took place in a lively mixture of Arabic with English translation, drew representatives from local NGOs and government officials involved in the management of the National Park into a discussion centred upon access to land and benefit sharing , for example from entry fees.