How we serve Namibia
Conservation and Wildlife Successes
Conservation of species, habitats and protected areas
Namibia has achieved enviable successes and international recognition in terms of biodiversity conservation. Accomplishments include:
- 36% of Namibia is under some form of conservation management, including: an extensive and internationally renowned protected area network, covering 17% of the country; 19% of the country is part of a network of communal and freehold conservancies
- 21 of Namibia’s 29 vegetation types have at least 10% of their area within this protected area network.
- All six of Namibia’s biomes have at least 20% of their areas protected
- At least 32% of each of Namibia’s four key wetland habitat types fall within this protected area network.
- No species have become extinct in Namibia in recent times and there are signs that rare and endangered species are holding their own or are increasing in number and expanding back into areas where they had previously become eliminated.
- Namibia is home to the world’s only free-ranging black rhino populations.
- Namibia also has a healthy and growing elephant population with almost no incidents of poaching despite many of these animals living outside protected areas.
- Wildlife on freehold land has also increased over the past decade and in places are at such high levels that they can support a quality wildlife-based tourism and trophy hunting product.
Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM)
Namibia has gained a worldwide reputation for its innovative approaches of linking conservation to poverty alleviation through its communal area conservancy programme, Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM), and pro-poor tourism initiatives.
Since the MET introduced legislation in 1996 to give conditional use rights over wildlife to communities in communal areas that formed management unites called a conservancy, the many success of this initiative include:
- Extending the protected areas to include a massive 19% of the country over 130,000 square kilometers
- 59 registered conservancies with over 230,000 members
- 30 new conservancies in development
- Economic benefits to communities have increased from less than N$600,000 in 1998 to N$41.9 million (US$ 5.7 million) in 2008, with primary growth coming from the tourism industry
- 29 formal joint-venture lodges and campsite partnerships within the Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector and a further 15 in development
- Joint ventures conservancies represent 856 beds, 789 full-time jobs and over 250 seasonal positions.
- The private sector has invested more than N$ 145 million (US$ 19 million) in tourism in communal conservancies since 1998.
Conservation benefits include:
- Poaching being almost totally eliminated
- Communities setting aside land for exclusive use of wildlife
- Expanding populations of all wildlife even including animals such as elephant, lion and black rhino.
Tourism as a key economic force
Namibia has the potential to become one of Africa’s leading travel and tourism economies over the next decade, providing a service industry complement to mining, agriculture and fishing for economic growth and development. Tourism, the fast growing industry in the world, is a real opportunity for continued job creation, social cohesion and economic growth in Namibia.
Over the past 15 years, prime indicators in the tourism industry show:
- International tourist arrivals have increased from 254,978 arrivals in 1993 to 777,890 arrivals in 2005 and 928,912 in 2007
- The tourism industry’s outputs, which increased by an average of 14% per year from 1991 to 199,623, and by a total of 13% from 1998-2003
- Tourism directly and/or indirectly generated N$5.242 billion to the Namibia national economy during 2004, or the equivalent of 14.2% of its GDP
- Tourism supports 69,000 jobs, or approximately 18% of Namibia’s work force in 2004.
The MET and particularly its Directorate of Tourism is responsible for formulating of tourism policy, and its legal and regulatory framework in Namibia. Since Independence the following tourism Acts have been established:
The Namibian Tourism Board Act (2000)
The Namibia Wildlife Resorts Company Act (1998)
The Lotteries Act (2002)
The Gambling and Gambling Houses Act of 1994, as amended
Trophy hunting continues to be an important economic driver in Namibia’s rural areas. The supporting statistics include:
- More than 20 big game quotas were awarded to conservancies in 2006-2007, resulting in N$11 million revenue per annum to such conservancies.
- The economic value of the trophy hunting industry is estimated to be worth approximately N$500 million per year.