Over the last fifteen years, community-based wildlife management has been an effective mechanism for the Namibian government to combine conservation with developing governance structures to enhance the wildlife resources needed to attract tourism to rural communal areas of Namibia.
In 1996, as a means of creating incentives for sustainable natural resources management in communal areas, the Namibian government introduced legislation that gave communities which formed a management unit called a “conservancy” rights over benefits from wildlife in communal areas. Specifically, conservancies are areas on communal land in which community-based organisations hold rights to manage and benefit from the consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife and other natural resources within defined boundaries. By forming conservancies, local communities are able to add sustainable use of wildlife and ecotourism development and indigenous natural product production and processing to their existing land uses and livelihood activities.
- increased wildlife populations on conservancy lands
devolution of authority over land use management to rural communities
generation of employment in tourism enterprises
generation of income from indigenous natural products
generation of financial benefits for conservancy members
NNF's support for CBNRM in Namibia