Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organizations


Leading Systemic Change through Collaboration

Namibia has one of Africa’s leading conservation approaches, with over 40% of the country under various forms of government, private, and community conservation management. A key to this is its national community-based natural resource management

(CBNRM) program, centred since the 1990s on commu-nal conservancies, where rural communities are able to control, manage, and benefit from wildlife. The growth of conservancies since the late 1990s- there are now over 80, covering over 16 million hectares- has played a central role in the recovery of wildlife across the country, including rare species such as black rhino, lion, mountain zebra, and elephant.

The Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organizations (NACSO) is a unique national consortium of nine leading Namibian grassroots conservation and development organizations, as well as a number of other affiliate members. NACSO is the key convening hub and information source in the national conservancies and CBNRM program, and also plays a lead role in policy engagement, building collaboration with government, and facilitating partnerships amongst different organiza-tions. NACSO also works with government to represent Namibia’s conservation policies and interests at interna-tional forums, and to build the strong global brand of Namibia’s community conservation programs.

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Transformative Conservation Impact

Communal conservancies have been key to the tripling of the country’s elephant population over the past 20 years, recovering black rhinos in the deserts of north-western Namibia, while helping communities earn more than $6 million annually in revenue from wildlife tourism and hunting.

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165,030 km²

Land area roughly twice the size of Ireland, which is now under conservancy status, making up roughly 20% of Namibia’s total land area, and contributing nearly half of Namibia’s total of 43.7% of its land area under some form of state, private and community conservation management.

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N$60 million

(US$3.75M) Generated in 2016 from 53 joint venture tourism agreements between tourism operators and conservancies, employing roughly 1000 people.

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Of all conservancies (28 in total) that now cover their operating costs from their own income.

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Game guards and resource monitors working in conservancies nationwide to monitor wildlife and prevent illegal use.


Namibian Elephant Population

Source: KWS and TAWIRI aerial census data.

Total annual returns to conservancies (cash, employment, etc)