NNF working with Finnish Funding to unlock Hunting for Opportunities

1 Jun 2016 | News

Earlier this month the Finnish Ambassador paid a visit to Conservancies in Kunene to speak with conservancy members about hunting and opportunities for further development.

Earlier this month the Finnish Ambassador, Her Excellency Anne Saloranta, paid a visit to Orupembe and Sorris Sorris Conservancies to better understand the potential impact and importance of new hunting models for Conservancy development. The remote and rugged Orupembe Conservancy offers a unique experience for hunters to truly step into the wild, the area also has a traditional conservation approach balancing hunting and protection. The sacred Onjuva plains in which no hunting is allowed form part of the core wildlife area, whilst hunting can take place in the surrounding landscape. Further south Sorris Sorris Conservancy is a vibrant Conservancy determined to make the best of their resources, here the conservancy committee spoke at length with the Ambassador about the threats and opportunities associated with hunting. They were unequivocal in wanting to see more value added to their resources and hunting in particular, but they were also careful to point out that these potential developments must be done in conjunction with their existing trophy hunting and tourism partners. 

Namibia is a country blessed with incredible landscapes, wildlife and people making it an increasingly attractive tourism destination. It is also home to one of the world’s most progressive and successful conservation initiatives the Community Based Natural Resource Management Programme. This programme has, in the last 20 years seen almost half of all communal land areas and 20% of Namibia being designated as conservancies by the people themselves. Part of the reason for doing so is because in such an arid country natural resource utilisation and wildlife in particular can offer a  competitive alternative to other forms of land-use. The communities have in many areas teamed up with private operators to form joint venture partnerships and today these conservancies generate over N$80 million in cash and in-kind benefits, the majority of which come from photographic tourism and hunting tourism.

Hunting tourism is particularly vulnerable to the trophy hunting market and this project seeks to develop alternative non-trophy hunting systems that directly support the management objectives of conservancies. The conservancies have three types of quota available to them, a trophy quota, a shoot and sell quota (meat) and an own use quota. The management of the shoot and sell quota and own use quota could be improved to better align them with management objectives, to become more efficient and also to raise more income and enhance the value of wildlife.

The Finnish Embassy in Namibia through its Fund for Local Cooperation have provided funding to the Namibia Nature Foundation to work with NACSO and its Members to look at ways of promoting non-trophy hunting specifically to the Finnish market, whilst at the same time promoting business opportunities. The project aims to pilot 2 types of hunting which are non-trophy, target a group hunting experience and seek to further empower Conservancies through increased benefits and participation in hunting management. Together with the support of the Finnish Embassy and the Finnish Hunters Association the Namibia Nature Foundation are initially targeting the Finnish Hunting Market, where this type of hunting forms part of the national hunting culture. If successful it will unlock greater potential and beyond just hunting.  

About Finnish Fund for Local Cooperation

The Fund for Local Cooperation (FLC) is a development instrument administered by Finnish Embassies in Finland’s partnership countries. The Fund is geared towards local actors, including civil society, institutions and private sector, to carry out well-targeted projects with a clear goal and sustainable outcome.

In Namibia, the Fund for Local Cooperation Strategy 2016-2018 highlights two priority areas, with focused thematic orientations, as follows:

1.   Strengthening democratic and accountable society that promotes human rights (human rights, democracy and good governance)

2.   Promotion of inclusive green economy that creates employment (trade, investment, poverty reduction)

All projects are required to take into account cross-cutting objectives such as gender equality, climate sustainability and reduction of inequality. Other important aspects of project selection include development impact, sustainability, local ownership, innovativeness, contribution to overall development of civil society as well as Namibia’s own development plans (NDP4). All funded entities must be registered under Namibian law and have a proven track record.