Economic benefits through conservation
In its efforts to increase integration of all the components of communal land use, including the various aspects of agriculture, tourism, wildlife and natural plant product use, the government has drafted a policy on Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM).
The policy on Community Based Natural Resource Management is a management approach that generates economic benefits through conservation and promotes the development or strengthening of local institutions, supported by national initiatives to promote rural development.
The initiative of Community Based Natural Resource Management is built on the basis that includes sound environmental management and promotes the sustainable use of natural resources, in a manner that empowers local communities who should share the responsibilities and benefits of such management.
Speaking at a recent workshop to train local communities the finer points of resource management and exploitation, the Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Uahekua Herunga pointed out the importance of developing such a policy, saying that through proactive collaboration and effective zoning, the need for the policy will greatly enhance the ability of rural communities to improve their socio-economic status.
“Our CBNRM Policy should provide a framework that promotes the wise and sustainable use of natural resources outside Protected Areas as well as the promotion of integrated land and natural resource planning and decision making that considers the most appropriate land uses based on land capability, optimum economic returns, as well as environmental and human needs,” said Herunga.
Herunga further called for the establishment of an institutional and policy framework for the implementation of the Community Based Natural Resource Management programme. “We need to create a long term sustainability and management strategy for CBNRM in Namibia. It is our responsibility as government and partner organizations to ensure that the CBNRM programme is developed as a sustainable conservation and rural development programme from which our rural communities can derive equitable social and economic benefits,” the deputy minister stated.