Managing Namibia's natural resources

WWF is working in Namibia to increase wildlife populations, and to help the people in poverty, so that both human and wildlife can live in harmony. WWF is finding solutions to solve the human-wildlife conflict in Nambia, which long had deadly effects in the struggle for surviving in Namibia's harsh conditions. WWF's programme aims at building a future in which the people can improve their livelihoods without having a damaging impact on the regions wildlife populations.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1081247)




  • AnimalsAnimals
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



Namibia’s most valuable resource is its spectacular wildlife. After devastating waves of poaching and trophy hunting in the past, population numbers have recovered sensationally due to decades of rigorous conservation efforts. Today, the country’s treasure chest of wildlife includes desert-adapted elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, wild dogs, zebras and many more. But the extreme natural settings of dry savannahs and deserts provide very harsh living conditions. Namibia’s population is faced with extreme poverty and very few ways of generating income. In this harsh environment, humans and animals are competing for food and water. Severe human-wildlife conflicts arise through the close coexistence posing life-threatening risks to both animals and humans alike. When Namibia achieved independence in 1990, WWF and other development organisations began introducing conservancies, a community network aiming to closely link conservation and rural development to ensure a sustainable living for the local people. However, superimposing such a system merely provides the framework for the work that inevitably needs to follow. To ensure that the conservancies become self-sustaining entities, WWF now helps to empower indigenous groups to manage their natural resources sustainably and to build up the people’s capacity needed to run a democratic, well-managed community. The project helps to identify ways of generating direct social and economic benefits from wildlife, giving it a higher value alive rather than exploiting it for short-term benefits. WWF raises awareness, provides training and builds up capacity in natural resource management, and works on solving conflicts arising from the close coexistence of humans and wildlife. WWF is committed to raise £170,000 to this important programme this year. HOW YOU CAN HELP £1000 can pay for a training course in one conservancy. Training courses will be held in all conservancies where WWF is involved and include a number of important topics such as public speaking training for women which enables women to take on proactive roles within the community (e.g. treasurer). Furthermore workshops in book-keeping, conflict management, chairing/managing a committee, and institutional capacity are important to render the conservancies well-managed and self-sustaining entities. £2,000 can pay for the logistical support during a harvesting season of commiphora for Himba women. Commiphora is a plant that grows in the desert plains and produces a perfume resin, which is can be sold to locals, tourists, and the cosmetics industry alike. This produces additional income for their families and helps the women to become proactive members of the community. The logistical support enables the women safely harvest commiphora in remote areas. £3,000 can pay to conduct anti-poaching patrols. Game guards do this on a regular basis in order to ensure the protection of the wildlife from poaching and illegal trophy hunting. Equipment is needed such as GPS units, binoculars, boots, and tents. £5,000 can pay to conduct the annual game count. Here, game guards from each conservancy count the animals within their land, which enables estimations of the entire wildlife populations. Results are being used for annual natural resource management plans. These lay out the amount of wildlife that can be hunted for meat without affecting the wellbeing of the populations. The donation includes provision of equipment such as car use, petrol, GPS units, binoculars etc., and the manpower needed for the survey and evaluation. £7,000 can pay to run a series of human-wildlife conflict mitigation workshops. In these, farmers come together to discuss problems they encounter with wildlife, and to find sustainable solutions such as the use of chilli to keep elephants away from crops and crocodile fences which incorporate safe drinking points for cattle. The workshops also focus on reactivating traditional practices of keeping wildlife on distance to the villages. The workshop includes a series of sessions which reach from solution development to implementation and success monitoring. £10,000 can pay for the construction and running of a community centre. These enable the communities to hold meetings, discuss problems and issues arising, and to hold the workshops and training courses described above. £15,000 can pay to establish a craft market for woman. Through the selling of local crafts products, women are able to contribute to the income of their family and to gain a proactive role within the community. The craft groups are being set up and helped to establish links to the tourist lodges and commercial partners in order to create a sales network with continuous demand.