Why Namibia is world leader in joint venture and community-based tourism

sossuvlei namibiaNamibia has more cheetahs than any other country. Far from being decimated by poaching, its elephant and rhino populations are thriving. It’s also one of just a few African countries that is home to six species of large carnivores — lions, spotted hyenas, wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards and brown hyenas. Why? In recent years “Namibia has undergone a conservation revolution and in the process, generated jobs and income for thousands of rural residents through safari tourism.” At the heart of this success has been the adoption (as part of government policy) since the early 90s of a communal conservancies concept that gives communities the right to oversee wildlife and natural resources on their communal land, “with the understanding that rural communities will use natural resources in a sustainable manner if these resources have sufficient value and benefit.”

In Brief
  • Namibia has at least 82 registered communal conservancies, one community conservation association in a National Park, 15 concessions in National Parks or on other state land, 32 community forests, 66 community range-land management areas and three community fish reserves
  • Almost half — about 46 percent — of Namibia’s surface area is under conservation management.
  • With there being value to communities in protecting wildlife, since 1995, Namibia’s desert-adapted lion population has quadrupled, and the elephant population more than doubled
In Depth
In the Future
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smithhttp://www.jmcsmith.com
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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