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Using tourism as a means to sustain community-based conservation: Experience from Namibia

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:10 AM
Contributors: David Callihan

This case study focuses on the Living in a Finite Environment (LIFE) Project of WWF and USAID, which provides grants, technical assistance and training to support community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). This project initiated CBNRM in Namibia in the 1980s. The potential for tourism is high in Namibia. The LIFE Project seeks to link it economically with CBNRM by building community capacity to manage their natural resources sustainably, attracting tourism investments, providing business training and aiding in the establishment of management organizations (conservancies). The goal of Phase II of the project is to make five or more conservancies self-sustainable by October 2002. The following important lessons were drawn from the Phase I of the LIFE project: Legislation favouring community-based sustainable management is essential; Community members require considerable training to be capable to run natural resource based businesses; Partnerships with organizations such as the Namibian Community-Based Tourism Association have been indispensable for marketing and legal assistance to community organizations; Constructive relationships should be formed between the government, private sector and communities. The author further argues that CBNRM projects should be judged not only on revenue generation, but also on improvements in conservation, support of wider tourism industry, prevention of exploitation and marginalization of disadvantaged populations, management improvements that bring food security and income diversification, support of next generation’s educational needs, restoration of cultural linkages with wildlife, and empowerment of communities.

Author(s): David Callihan

Publication Date: 1999

Location: Namibia

Download File from Portal: Namibia Callihan.pdf — PDF document, 258 kB (264,205 bytes)

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