Support to community based natural resource management

Project description

Title: Support to Community based Natural Resource Management
​Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Namibia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT)
Overall Term: 2017 bis 2020

Horticultural garden in Okongo Conservancy, North Central Region


Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) creates an environment where people in communal areas can actively manage their ecosystems. Within the boundaries of formally registered conservancies, residents are allowed to generate revenue through tourism, the sustainable use of wildlife and from harvesting natural products. The opportunity to derive benefits from their natural environment provides a strong incentive for conservancies to protect and safeguard their environment. Today, a total of 86 conservancies, one association and 32 community forests are registered and documented, benefiting about 230,000 rural people.


The coherent implementation of the CBNRM policy has improved at the national, regional and local levels. 

Signing of joint ventures in Torra Conservancy, Kunene Region


Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports the Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) in improving the implementation of the CBNRM policy. The project applies a multi-level approach at national, regional and local levels, directly targeting approximately 100,000 residents in conservancies and integrated community forests in the Kavango, Kunene and North-Central regions of Namibia. At the national level, it supports the entire CBNRM programme through policy and legal advice.

Strengthening capacities
The project supports the successful implementation of the CBNRM policy, in particular strengthening compliance monitoring by Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT). The project implements a web-based compliance monitoring management system that connects MEFT’s regional offices with headquarters in real time. The project further assists in formalising the cooperation between MEFT, implementing organisations (NGOs), private sector and communal conservancies.

Good governance
The project supports conservancies to meet good governance standards, including transparent and efficient decision making, implementation of conservancies’ constitutions, transparent and efficient financial management, gender mainstreaming, sustainable management of wildlife as well as fair and equitable sharing of benefits. Conservancies are also assisted to submit their compliance management data and improving resilience of conservancies by implementing climate change adaptation measures.

Benefitting from nature
Although Namibia is the most arid country south of the Sahara, with highly variable rainfall, it is endowed with an abundance of wildlife and indigenous plants that can potentially be an important source of revenue for conservancies. In the face of the effects of climate change, the project provides technical support to diversify income generating sources and develop value chains linked to natural resources. The project aims at increasing investments and expanding into local and international markets for indigenous products in order to boost the revenue generated by the conservancies. Furthermore, the project provides economic and legal support to conservancies entering into tourism, hunting or biotrade contractual agreements with the private sector and implements monitoring measures that ensures contract satisfaction on both sides.


  • Supported more than 230,000 people living in communal conservancies to actively manage their natural resources.
  • Development and operationalisation of a web-based monitoring system for CBNRM - more than 7,600 documents are digitalised.
  • MEFT CBNRM staff capacitated – five Training of Trainers including financial management, compliance monitoring and Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) monitoring were provided.
  • 22 new tourism and conservation hunting based joint ventures were signed, benefitting more than 60,000 community members.
  • During the project period, 76 per cent of women were satisfied with the level of their involvement in decision making in conservancies; an increase of 26 per cent.
  • Revised the Human-Wildlife-Conflict (HWC) Policy and Developed Guidelines for Management of HWC.
  • Implementation of climate change adaptation measures, including new approaches to mitigate HWC and increase resilience of communities in 12 conservancies, benefiting over 15,000 conservancy members
  • Due to the recent severe drought, the project supported the rehabilitation and installation of much needed water infrastructure at more than 30 locations, increasing the availability of fresh water for both local communities and wildlife, thus reducing human wildlife conflicts
  • Improved revenue base for harvesters derived from Indigenous Natural Products (INPs) in conservancies, especially Devils Claws and the Namibian Myrrh (Commiphora wildii). In 2018, for example, 246 harvesters of Commiphora have generated an income of about 200,000 Namibian Dollars around. 11,000 Euros).
Upgrade of water infrastructure for conservancies in Kunene Region

Additional information