Conservation at scale

Conservation at scale
  • 86 conservancies cover 20.2% of Namibia’s land
  • 42 community forests cover 9.6% of Namibia’s land, but overlap with conservancies by 95.5%
  • With the one community association in a national park, the total area of land under communal management in Namibia is 21.9%
  • National parks and state-owned tourism concessions cover 17.6% of Namibia
  • The total land under gazetted conservation management in Namibia is 38.2%

The map illustrates that community conservation, combined with state protected areas and tourism concession areas create large connected areas with intact habitats where wildlife can move freely. Privately owned conservancies on farmland account for 6.1% of Namibia. The total land available to wildlife is around 44.3% of Namibia.

Wildlife populations

Remarkable wildlife recoveries have taken place due to efforts by government, conservation NGOs and conservancies to minimise poaching and ensure the sustainable use of wildlife.

Wildlife populations
Wildlife populations
Wildlife populations
Wildlife populations
Species richness
Species richness

Elephant numbers have grown from a low of 7,000 to over 22,000. Lions have increased in range and numbers. The black rhino population has increased from around 65 to the largest free-roaming population in the world. Precise numbers are not published.

Game counts indicate that springbok, gemsbok and mountain zebra populations increased over 10 times between 1982 and the early 2000s, then stabilised for a decade. Since 2012 a combination of factors has resulted in a reduction of game numbers in areas surveyed: drought, animals moving out of the survey areas, and suspected poaching.

The wildlife species richness map indicates the large wildlife species currently present in conservancies, as a percentage of those that were present in the past. A high score means that a large percentage of the species are still in the area.

Income and benefits to rural communities

Community conservation has shown that it can improve rural lives while contributing to biodiversity conservation, and is recognised as a national development strategy. Many conservancies are showing that conservation can generate a broad range of community and individual returns while covering their operational costs from their income. Returns are the total of income and benefits accruing to communities, conservancies and individuals as a result on community conservation. These have grown steadily since conservancies were formed.

The total cash income and in-kind benefits generated in conservancies (including the Kyaramacan Association) grew from less than N$ 1 million in 1998 to more than N$ 147 million in 2018. This includes all directly measurable income and in-kind benefits being generated, and can be divided into cash income to conservancies (mostly through partnerships with private sector operators), cash income to residents from enterprises (mostly through employment and the sale of products), and as in-kind benefits to residents (mostly the distribution of harvested game meat).

Total returns to conservancies and members
Total returns to conservancies and members

Community conservation at a glance

At the end of 2018 there were...

  • 86 registered communal conservancies
  • 1 community conservation association in a national park (Kyaramacan Association – managed like a conservancy)
  • 19 concessions in national parks or on other state land held by 23 conservancies (some conservancies share concessions)
  • 42 registered community forests
  • and 2 community fish reserves in Namibia

What’s being achieved?

Community conservation...

  • covers 169,331 km2, which is about 55.3% of all communal land, with an estimated 222,871 residents (another approximately 6,257 members of the Kyaramacan Association live in Bwabwata National Park)
  • of this area, conservancies manage 166,179 km2, which comprises 20.2% of Namibia
  • community forests cover 72,537 km2, 95.5% of which overlaps with conservancies
  • from the beginning of 1990 to the end of 2018, community conservation contributed an estimated N$ 8.375 billion to Namibia’s net national income
  • during 2018, community conservation generated over N$ 147 million in returns for local communities
  • community conservation facilitated 4,926 jobs in 2018
  • 56 conservancies hosted a total of 177 enterprises based on natural resources in 2018
  • Namibia’s elephant population grew from around 7,500 to around 22,800 between 1995 and 2016 according to census data
  • Namibia has a large free-roaming lion population outside of national parks

The sustainability of the programme

Community conservation can become fully sustainable and largely self-financing in the foreseeable future, provided that appropriate resources continue to be invested to entrench governance foundations, optimise returns, and mitigate threats and barriers to development.

The Community Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCFN) was established in 2017 with two arms:

  • An endowment fund to cover operating costs and minimum support packages to conservancy operations
  • A sinking fund to be used for conservation projects

The fund was created with donor support, and will be continuously replenished by income from investments and continued donor support based upon conservation performance.

For convenience, all of the data presented as figures and tables used in the State of Community Conservation Report are gathered together in one page and indexed below with quick links.

Many figures provide cumulative information over the years, such as the figure showing Total returns to conservancies and members. The growth in returns is shown from 1998, when conservancy formation began, until the present year.

Figures, tables and statistics

 

Other figures, such as Sources of returns, show a snapshot for the reported year. Where possible these are presented together with preceding years at 5 year intervals, so that a comparison is possible.

Sources of returns 2008
Sources of returns 2008
Sources of returns 2013 graphic
Sources of returns 2013
Sources of returns 2018 graphic
Sources of returns 2018

 


All figures and tables used in the State of Community Conservation Report

Click on any heading to see the relevant figures and tables.

Section Detail/Title Type URL
Communities Communal conservancies in 2018 Map » go to map
Communities Community forests in 2018 Map » go to map
MET State-run protected areas and JV lodge concessions Map » go to map
The expansion of structured natural resource management across Namibia Structured natural resource management in 1990 and 2018 Maps » go to map
Community conservation partners Registered conservancies Table » go to table
Community conservation partners Registered community forests Table » go to table
Community conservation cover The area covered by conservancies and community forests and the estimated number of people living in conservancies Figure » go to figure
People Living in Conservancies Population density per square kilometre Map » go to map
People Living in Conservancies Area and percentage of communal land covered by conservancies per region. Estimated number of people and percentage of communal area residents in conservancies per region Table » go to table
Contiguous area The contiguous areas under sustainable natural resource management including state protected areas, freehold and communal conservancies and community forests, conservation/concessions, private reserves Map » go to map
Contiguous area Area (km2) in state protected areas, community conservation/concessions, private reserves Table » go to table
Conservation at scale Community conservation, state protected areas and tourism concession areas Map » go to map
Increase in shared boundaries in Namibia The percentage of state protected area boundaries in communal areas shared with conservancies, concession areas and community forests Figure » go to figure
Conservation complexes Mudumu Complex Protected Landscape Conservation Area Map » go to map
Transboundary Conservation Areas Transboundary linkages created with the Iona/Skeleton Coast Park, the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Area and the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area Map » go to map
Transboundary Conservation Areas The Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area protected areas in 2018 Map » go to map
Transboundary Forums Transboundary Natural Resource Management Forums Map » go to map
Section Detail/Title Type URL
Biomes and Habitats for Wildlife Conservancies, community forests, state protected areas, tourism concessions and freehold conservancies in relation to areas of high biodiversity and endemism Map » go to map
Biomes and Habitats for Wildlife Portions of habitats and biomes covered by each conservation category, as well as the total percentage of such areas protected Table » go to table
Species richness The large wildlife species currently present in conservancies, as a percentage of those that were present in the past Map » go to map
Wildlife population health The percentage of all large wildlife species that historically occurred, which currently have a healthy population in a particular conservancy Map » go to map
Elephant counts Elephant range in relation to conservancies at present Map » go to map
Lion range expansion Range expansion of ‘desert’ lions between 1995 and 2018 Map » go to map

Also see Wildlife Populations below

Section Detail/Title Type URL
Natural resource management at a glance   At a glance » go to section
Conservancy management zones A zonation map for Mashi Conservancy Map » go to map

Also see Conservancy Governance and Management below

Section Detail/Title Type URL
Elephant counts Elephant range in relation to conservancies at present Map » go to map
Lion range expansion Range expansion of ‘desert’ lions between 1995 and 2018 Map » go to map
Game counts Namibia's north-west game count Map » go to map
Game counts North East game count Map » go to map
Wildlife Populations in the North-West Total estimated populations of 3 indicator species: gemsbok, springbok and zebra, from aerial censuses prior to the year 2000 and number of animals seen per 100 kilometres during the annual North-West Game Count Figures » go to figures
North-West Predator Sightings Sightings index from the Event Book monitoring system Figure » go to figure
Wildlife Populations in the North-East Number of animals seen per 100 kilometres Figures » go to figures
North-East Predator Sightings Sightings index from the Event Book monitoring system Figure » go to figure
Wildlife populations Species richness Map » go to map
Wildlife population health The percentage of all large wildlife species that historically occurred, which currently have a healthy population in a particular conservancy Map » go to map
Wildlife translocations into conservancies Numbers of animals of different species translocated to registered conservancies and four conservancy complexes Table » go to table
Section Detail/Title Type URL
Poverty map The poverty map of Namibia as determined by the 2015 Poverty Mapping Report, overlaid with the 2016 boundaries of Namibia’s communal conservancies Map » go to map
Number of incidents as reported by conservancies Number of incidents per year of each type (livestock attack, crop damage, other damage, human attack) as reported by conservancies Figure » go to figure
Problem causing species as reported in Kunene conservancies Problem causing species as reported in Kunene conservancies Figure » go to figure
Problem causing species as reported in Zambezi conservancies Problem causing species as reported in Zambezi conservancies Figure » go to figure
Recorded incidents of human-wildlife conflict Average and total numbers of human attacks, livestock attacks, crop damage incidents and other damage incidents per conservancy Table » go to table
Recorded incidents of human-wildlife conflict Breakdown of types of damage caused by HWC Figure » go to figure
Species causing the bulk of HWC Number of conflict incidents per species in the Zambezi Region Figure » go to figure
Species causing the bulk of HWC Number of conflict incidents per species in Erongo-Kunene Figure » go to figure
Number of animals destroyed because of HWC Number of animals destroyed as a percentage of the number of conflict incidents recorded for that species in Erongo-Kunene Figure » go to figure
Lion range expansion Range expansion of ‘desert’ lions between 1995 and 2018 Figure » go to map
Section Detail/Title Type URL
Community Conservation Governance   At a glance » go to section
Conservation management performance ratings Conservation management performance ratings Map » go to map
Conservancy management zones A zonation map for Mashi Conservancy Map » go to map
Conservation complexes Mudumu Complex Protected Landscape Conservation Area Map » go to map

Also see Natural Resource Management above

Section Detail/Title Type URL
Livelihoods at a glance   At a glance » go to section
LIvelihoods – Total returns to conservancies and members The total cash income and in-kind benefits generated in conservancies (including the Kyaramacan Association) Figure » go to figure
Living with wildlife pays dividends – but comes with costs Conservancy income and expenditures showing economic and intangible benefits in 2018 Figure » go to figure
Sources of returns – Total returns to conservancies and members The total cash income and in-kind benefits generated in conservancies (including the Kyaramacan Association) Figure » go to figure
Sources of returns to conservancies and their members in 2018 Source of cash income or in-kind benefits Table » go to table
Varied sources of natural resource returns Total cash income and in-kind benefits over time, the ratios between sources of return, and disbursements in four sample conservancies Figures » go to figure
The Earning Power of Conservancies The number of conservancies earning cash, divided into incremental categories (including the Kyaramacan Association). Figure » go to figure
The rise in returns generated through conservancies Cash income and in-kind benefits to conservancies and conservancy residents; number of conservancies and number generating cash income or in-kind benefits; average total returns per conservancy generating cash income or in-kind benefits Table » go to table
The complementary roles of sustainable consumptive wildlife use and joint-venture tourism operations Returns from toursism and sustainable wildlife use, cash income to conservancies and households, and in-kind benefits to households Figures » go to figures
Reliance on conservation hunting and photographic tourism Map showing which conservancies depend mostly on tourism income to cover their running costs, and which rely mostly on conservation hunting and game harvesting Map » go to map
The importance of consumptive wildlife use income Income generated through sustainable consumptive wildlife use for selected conservancies Map » go to map
The importance of consumptive wildlife use income Effect on cash flow of losing income from sustainable consumptive wildlife use Map » go to map
Costs and benefits Payments to households from private sector partnerships and community enterprises Figure » go to figure
Costs and benefits Payments to households from private sector partnerships and community enterprises Figure » go to figure
Costs and benefits Conservancy spending on running costs and infrastructure Figure » go to figure
Section Detail/Title Type URL
The National Economy Estimates of the national economic returns from CBNRM compared to economic investment costs Figure » go to figure
The economic efficiency of CBNRM Economic rates of return and net present values Table » go to table
National Development Contributions to Namibia’s fifth National Development Plan by CBNRM Table » go to table
Community conservation partners Government Agencies Table » go to table
Community conservation partners NACSO Secretariat Table » go to table
Community conservation partners NACSO Members Table » go to table
Community conservation partners NACSO Associate Members Table » go to table
Community conservation partners NACSO Working Groups Table » go to table
Community conservation partners Funding Partners – Past and Present Table » go to table
Community conservation partners Conservation Hunting Partners Table » go to table
Community conservation partners Tourism Joint Venture Partners Table » go to table
This page was last updated on: 9th December 2019