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An assessment of changing wildlife policy in Namibia Patricia Skyer National Association for CBNRM Organisations, Namibia.

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Presentation on theme: "An assessment of changing wildlife policy in Namibia Patricia Skyer National Association for CBNRM Organisations, Namibia."— Presentation transcript:

1 An assessment of changing wildlife policy in Namibia Patricia Skyer National Association for CBNRM Organisations, Namibia

2 Presentation outline Land tenure regimes in Namibia Timeline of changing wildlife policy Assessment of current wildlife policy and legislation Other related policies and their impacts Key lessons and recommendations

3 Dualistic land tenure structure Freehold tenure area or commercial land occupies 362,000 km 2 and home to ??? people (44 % of total land area, home to ?? % of population) Communal land occupies 335,400 km 2 and home to ??? People (41 % of total land area, home to ??? % of population) Protected areas – 14 % of total land

4 Changing Wildlife Policy COMMERCIAL LAND: 1968 / 1975 – Nature Conservation Ordinance 1992 – Policy on Establishment of Conservancies in Namibia COMMUNAL LAND: 1995 – Policy on Wildlife Management, Utilisation and Tourism in Communal Areas 1996 – Nature Conservation Amendment Act

5 Policy and effects on commercial land Conditions of ownership over huntable game – 1000 ha farm, fenced in certain way Farmers free to use huntable game, but required permit to use protected or specially protected game Wildlife became valued income-generating resource in growing wildlife industry 44% increase in game species and 80% increase in total number of animals and biomass between 1972 - 1992

6 Commercial land … Establishment of game ranches Late 1980s – needed farm units bigger than 5000 ha for active game farming, thus adopted conservancy model Currently 23 Conservancies covering an area of over 4 million ha Financial rates of return more than double that of individual ranches

7 Policy and effects on communal land Socio-ecological surveys in key wildlife areas to gather community opinion and vision for future wildlife policy and legislation Pilot activities in target areas since 1993, influencing policy Aimed at: Redressing past discriminatory policies and practices; Empowering local communities by linking rural economic development with wildlife conservation and wild landscapes; Granting limited wildlife and tourism rights to rural communities.

8 Communal land … Conditions for conservancy registration: Defined membership and registered members; Defined area with agreed boundaries; Legal constitution, providing for game management and utilisation plan; Representative management committee; Equitable benefits distribution plan. Conservancy programme launched in 1998 17 of 29 communal conservancies adjacent to National Parks, thus increase buffer zone area around parks

9 Area under Communal Conservancies 19 registered conservancies 40 emerging = ca. 60000 km2

10 Wildlife Populations & Trends in North-West Namibia Estimated 2002 increase in asset value of plains game: N$21,000,000

11 Committees Representing Diverse Communities >60 Communities mobilized into representative governance bodies

12 People in registered Conservancies Additional 70,000 – 100,000 in emerging conservancies

13 Namibia National CBNRM Programme 2002 - Benefits

14 Other related policies and their impacts National Land Policy (1998) and Communal Land Reform Act (2002) Decentralisation Policy (1997) Traditional Authorities Act (2000) Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Policy (1993) National Forestry Policy (1992; 1999) and upcoming Forestry Bill Community Based Tourism Policy (1995) Inland Fisheries Policy (1995)

15 Communal Land Reform Act and CBNRM Tenure rights granted under national land policy include all renewable natural resources on that land, subject to sectoral policy and legislation Rights in respect of communal lands include Customary land rights and Rights of Leasehold Customary land rights, including grazing rights may relate to a farming unit; a residential unit or any other form of customary tenure recognised and described by the Minister of Lands in the Gazette

16 Communal Land Act … No specific provision of communal tenure over land and resources, although third option under customary land rights above, may open window of opportunity Land Administration in communal areas vested in Land Boards and Traditional Authorities Customary land rights are allocated by the Traditional Authority and ratified by the Land Board Rights of leasehold are allocated by the Land Boards, only with consent by Traditional Authority

17 Communal Land Act … Right of leasehold not allowable in areas already under customary land rights, unless negotiated with holder of customary land rights In conservancy areas, right of leasehold should consider conservancy management and utilisation plan

18 Other policies Decentralisation Policy Provides for full devolution of powers and functions relating to i.e conservation, to Regional Councils Risk of regional centralisation or opportunity for conservancy representation on Regional and Constituency Development Coordinating Committees Traditional Authorities Act Designates TAs as custodians of natural resources Mandates TAs to settle disbutes within their communities No formalised linkages with community resource management institutions established under sectoral policies and legislation

19 Other policies Water Policy Aimed at: Improving water supply to rural communities; Transferring management responsibility of water supply facilities to communities. Institutional arrangements and requirements compatible with conservancy model. Forestry Policy Provision for community involvement in forest management Linking rural development and conservation goals by granting property rights to forest users Resource tenure over forests could potentially be combined with leasehold tenure over land Institutional arrangements and requirements compatible with conservancy model

20 Other policies Community Based Tourism Policy Provides for community access to tourism development opportunities and benefits Concessionary rights to lodge developments granted to registered conservancies Recognise incentives for conservation through linking tourism to wildlife and wild landscapes Inland Fisheries Policy Aimed at devolving management and utilisation of inland fisheries to communities living around rivers Scale of fisheries management units much smaller than conservancies, but compatible with conservancy model through institutional linkages

21 Strengths of current wildlife policy Community inputs in policy formulation gathered through socio-ecological surveys Pilot activities and policy reform process worked in tandem; thus policy influenced and shaped by local realities Conservancy formation is voluntary; self- defined community; no prescribed boundaries; freedom to choose own conservancy committee or use existing institution; Rights and full benefits directly to communities, not through local government structures; freedom to decide how to use income is empowering.

22 Strengths … Incentive driven and responsive to community aspirations, rather than regulatory and controlling Policy environment enabling and conducive for multiple stakeholder involvement through partnership arrangements e.g. NGOs, Academic institutions, Private Sector, etc. Serve as entry point for devolution of rights over other natural resources, in addition to wildlife

23 Challenges and constraints in current wildlife policy Lack of land and full resource tenure makes it difficult for conservancies to exclude non- members from moving into conservancy for grazing needs etc.; or for conservancies to raise capital loans or to attract tourism investors as joint venture partners. Lack of clarity on purposes and procedures for granting leasehold rights under Communal Land Act may affect conservancy rights over tourism – ideal to exclude wildlife and tourism from lease system, and just strengthen community rights under current wildlife and tourism legislation

24 Challenges and constraints … Avoid land boards giving leases directly to private sector. Communal Land Act not as explicit as National Land Policy on making tenure rights granted, subject to sectoral policy Lack of full control over tourism in conservancies, e.g commercial mobile tourism, self drive tourism, Lack of Parks and Neighbours Policy creates uncertainty over rights to wildlife and tourism for park residents

25 Challenges and constraints … Veterinary restrictions on game movements from communal areas Inconsistencies in policy interpretation and application, e.g rights over “ huntable game ” to freehold vs communal conservancies differ; Lack of operational procedures and guidelines e.g. applications and approvals for quotas and PTOs; problem animal control measures;

26 Challenges … Tendency for government to reassert its control over wildlife Potential for competition between conservancy committees and regional government structures under decentralisation policy – thus need for close coordination and conservancy representation on regional government structures. Community based versus Committee based NRM

27 Lessons and recommendations Secure and exclusive group rights through full resource and land tenure essential for long term sustainability of CBNRM Clarify mechanism for granting resource rights to communities, e.g leasing land for specific resource use purposes or actual group tenure over land, with resource use being regulated and rights provided for in sectoral legislation. Strengthen links between wildlife policy and legislation, and other natural resource policies and legislation

28 Lessons and recommendations Strengthen cooperation between community resource management institutions and land control bodies, e.g Trad. Authorities and Land Boards Encourage positive relationships between community resource management institutions and regional development structures through clearly defined roles and responsibilities Need for regional conservation and tourism planning forums, across conservancy boundaries

29 Lessons … Conservancy institutional model based on common property resource institution design principles, thus useful for management of other resources (forestry, water, fisheries, etc.) Conscious attempts to avoid several resource management committees, but to integrate land and resource use planning and management under one management structure

30 Lessons … Consider scale when exploring institutional linkages across different resource management and utilisation units Pilot integrated resource management by granting full rights over all natural resource to at least one chosen community – analyse different levels and scales at which resources are managed and identify the level and scale at which decision making should be located – foster formal and informal links between different layers, I.e re. Land use planning and resource management plans.

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