Community-based natural resource management


Title: Community-based natural resource management
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Namibia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment and Tourism
Overall term: 2016 to 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, 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. Meanwhile, tourism has replaced trophy hunting as the main source of income.


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


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 and Tourism (MET) in improving the implementation of the CBNRM policy. The project applies a multi-level approach at national, regional and local level, it targets 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 MET. The project implements a web-based monitoring compliance management system that connects MET’s regional offices with headquarters in real time. The project further assists in formalising the cooperation between MET, 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 the conservancy constitution, 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.


  • Support to about 228,000 people living in communal conservancies to actively manage their natural resources
  • Development and operationalisation of a web-based CBNRM compliance monitoring system - more than 6,700 documents are digitised
  • New tourism and hunting based joint ventures were signed, benefiting more than 60,000 community members
  • Revising of the Human Wildlife-Conflict (HWC) Policy and development of Guidelines for management of HWC
  • Implementation of climate change adaptation measures -new approaches to mitigate HWC and increase resilience of communities are implemented
  • Improved revenue base for harvesters - derived from indigenous natural resources in conservancies , especially Devils Claw and Commiphora wildii