The role of NACSO
As a networking organisation, NACSO facilitates the IDWG, bringing its members together. The working group is hosted by NACSO member NDT, the Namibia Development Trust, and its members include the MEFT and conservancy support organisations on an ad-hoc basis.
Conservancy support organisations
- CCF: Cheetah Conservation Fund
- IRDNC: Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation
- LAC: Legal Assistance Centre
- NDT: Namibia Development Trust
- NNDF: Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia
- NNF: Namibia Nature Foundation
- WWF: World Wildlife Fund
Support to conservancies
Support to conservancies is provided by all three NACSO working groups and the MEFT, devolving as much responsibility as possible to individual conservancies and community forests.
Training is given to conservancies by NACSO members in
- Financial management – accounts and financial reports
- Natural resource management – game counts and use of event books
- Committee roles and responsibilities
From 2011 to 2016 the Millenium Challenge Account provided funding for focussed support in 32 conservancies, for which a range of training manuals were developed.
Game guard certification
In order to strengthen the vital position of game guards within the conservancy governance structure, Game Guard Certification was developed as an official programme during 2013. NACSO is working with the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) to ensure that evaluation and certification is carried out according to the Namibia Qualifications Framework (NQF). A set of eight core competencies have been defined as a basis for evaluating game guards. A number of additional competencies may be evaluated on a voluntary basis. Game guard badges have been produced to enable game guards to easily identify themselves in the field. These will be issued in due course as part of the evaluation process in accordance with the NQF.
The MEFT and support organisations conduct annual audits of each conservancy to make sure that the conservancy is compliant with the MEFT’s Standard Operating Procedures and that:
- An AGM has been held in accordance with the constitution
- An annual financial report has been submitted
- A budget has been approved at the AGM
- Data has been correctly entered into event books
- Natural resource management tools including the entry of data for the utilisation of wildlife have been correctly used
- Accounts from joint ventures with lodges, camps and hunting operations have been submitted
At the audit, data is also collected on the number of committee and staff members, and their gender balance.
Other data from audits is collated by NACSO specialists annually.
- Financial returns, economic contributions and livelihood performance data are captured. This information is critical in evaluating the financial performance of conservancies, to show members how they are benefiting, and to illustrate what contributions are being made by CBNRM to the national economy.
- Natural resource management data is collated, which forms the basis of adaptive management in conservancies. The natural resource management performance of each conservancy is reviewed annually, based on fixed criteria. A map illustrates comparative performance and identifies those conservancies most in need of support. Performance profiles enable partners to target support interventions effectively.
Data captured at conservancy audits forms the basis of the figures and tables found in this report.
The "dripping tap" financial management support programme was rolled out in several regions this year. As the term suggests, support is not just in the form of once-off training events, but on-going assistance for conservancy bookkeepers and committee members (particularly treasurers). Financial experts are brought in as consultants to set up financial monitoring systems and help reconcile budgets with expenses each year, with the aim of producing accurate financial reports. These consulting services are currently externally funded, but conservancies with higher incomes will be expected to contribute to these costs in future. Another long-term goal is to develop financial expertise within the conservancies such that expert consultants can be found locally.