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 and Tourism (MET)
Overall Term: 2017 bis 2019


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, local 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 83 conservancies, one association and 32 community forests are officially registered, and benefit about 200 000 people in the rural conservancies. Meanwhile, tourism has replaced trophy hunting as the main source of income.


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


Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ supports the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) in improving the implementation of the CBNRM policy. The project “Support to community-based natural resource management” applies a multi-level approach. At regional and local levels, it targets approximately 100 000 residents in conservancies, community forests and households 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.

The CBNRM project provides capacity building measures to MET staff in areas such as compliance monitoring and process support and trains all actors in the CBNRM programme in the use of the monitoring system. Further, it assists in formalising the cooperation between MET and its partners in the NGO community and in the private sector. At the conservancy level, it promotes good governance in areas of decision making, financial management and proper implementation of conservancy constitutions. This includes the promotion of gender equality to increase the accommodation of female interests and needs in decision making. 

The project supports a web-based compliance management system that connects MET’s regional offices with the headquarters in real time. The use of the system strengthens the Ministry’s institutional capacity in monitoring the compliance of conservancies and thus improves the implementation of the CBNRM policy. Conservancies are assisted to submit their compliance management data. External service providers will establish sound financial management. Recommendations from vulnerability assessments will be implemented that relate either to gender, human-wildlife conflicts or wildlife crime. This shall improve the resilience of the conservancies overall. 

Namibia is the most arid African country south of Sahara, with limited and unpredictable rainfall. At the same time, the country is rich in wildlife and indigenous plants. The CBNRM project supports conservancies in the diversification of income and the creation of additional biotrade value chains. It conducts studies to identify the potential of innovative revenue generating measures. Ultimately, this will increase the revenue base for conservancy members. Further, the project provides economic and legal advice to conservancies entering into contracts with the private sector. This shall ensure that the conservancies meet their contractual obligations.