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Plight of the Sperrgebiet: Is it a good idea opening it up to the public?

Plight of the Sperrgebiet: Is it a good idea opening it up to the public?

The Namibia Scientific Society is inviting the public to a talk by Dr Antje Burke titled, ‘The plight of the Sperrgebiet endemics – Do they have a chance in the face of multiple threats?’ on 11 July at 19:00.

Giving more background, the Society said one of the many exceptional things about the new Tsau lKhaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park is its plant diversity and many of the plants found there are endemic, they occur nowhere else on Earth!

“The Sperrgebiet endemics have been reasonably well protected for over 100 years due to its status as a highly restricted area, but change is on the horizon and once the new park is open to the public, more people will have a chance to see these plants while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Sperrgebiet,” they added.

They said the influx of visitors and the development of tourism and industrial infrastructure may threaten this botanical treasure chest if it is not planned with the plants in mind.

Dr Antje Burke has had a passion for plants since her early childhood in Germany’s forests and she has since acquired a sound knowledge of the floras in her home country, the Mediterranean, the Negev Desert, and southern Africa.

She came to Namibia in 1988 and has as a researcher, lecturer, and environmental consultant continued to feed her passion as an expert on Namibian flora. She has worked in the Sperrgebiet for nearly 30 years, advising Namdeb, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, and other players in the area on matters relating to biodiversity and conservation planning, and environmental management.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.