On 21 March 1990, Namibia gained Independence from South Africa. Since then, visionary conservationists have enacted policy changes that have put Namibia on the forefront of conservation management and led to a number of remarkable wildlife success stories. This turnaround has led some to call Namibia’s conservation efforts “The greatest African wildlife recovery story over told”...
TOP CONSERVATION FACTS
Namibia has the largest free-roaming cheetah population in the world – there are an estimated 2,500-3,000 cheetahs in Namibia.
Namibia’s elephant population more than doubled between 1995 and 2008 from 7,500 to over 16,000 individuals. The population of desert-adapted elephant in the Kunene region has grown from around 150 to about 750 between 1982 and 2012.
Namibia is the only country with an expanding population of free-roaming lions - the number of free-roaming desert lions has increased five-fold in less than two decades.
Namibia has the world's largest population of black rhino that has survived on communal land - without conservation status - and therefore without fences.
The black rhino is one of the world's most endangered species. Between 1960 and 1995, numbers dropped by a horrifying 96.7%, mainly as a result of poaching for their horns. There have only been two confirmed rhino poaching incidents in Namibia in the last two years, thanks to the co-operation of the local people and a continued respect for wildlife. Read about how the last poacher turned himself over to authorities in this article by Travel News Namibia.
Photo by Mikael Castro
The population of Hartmann's mountain zebra in the north-west has grown from around 1 000 in 1982 to around 27 000 today.
In Namibia’s arid north-west springbok numbers have grown from less than 1 000 in 1982, to over 25 000 in 1999.
Namibia is the only country in the world where large numbers of rare and endangered wildlife are translocated FROM national parks to open communal land.
Namibia boasts one of the largest seal colonies in the world. In Namibia, the Cape Fur seal population is listed by global authority IUCN as a species of “least concern”. These seals appear on CITES Appendix II because they look similar to a threatened species, not because they are threatened themselves.
"The fate of the wilderness of Africa will not be decided by the hands of the clock, heralding in a new century and a new millennium. It is up to mankind to make it a turning point in the natural history of the continent.”
- Albi Brückner, creator of the Namib-Rand Nature Reserve
Photo by Bill Gozansky
The Protected Landscapes Conservation Areas Initiative (NAMPLACE) has already succeeded in bringing in an additional 15,550 ha of land under Protected Area collaborative management arrangements designed to conserve biodiversity.
Private landholders in Namibia have played a significant role in the conservation of wildlife, converting commercial farm land into private nature reserves for us all to admire nature in its original state, as animals and plants are back where they belong.
The largest private nature reserve is the NamibRand Nature Reserve, a vast area of over 180 000 ha situated south of Sesriem, made up of 13 former commercial farms.
The Khomas Hochland/Gamsberg area west of Windhoek has the third-clearest, least light-polluted sky in the world. Read more about the world’s darkest skies here
There are currently 79 communal conservancies in Namibia, covering almost 19% of the country.
The Namibian government has reinforced conservation by giving communities the opportunity and right to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies. Namibia’s national Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Programme was initiated at Independence to enhance the quality of life of rural Namibians while improving biodiversity in long-neglected areas. A sense of ownership over wildlife and other resources is encouraging people to use their resources sustainably. Wildlife is now embraced as a complimentary land use method to agriculture and livestock herding. People are living with wildlife, including predators and large mammals, and are managing their natural resources wisely. In 2002 the community of Purros decided not to kill a lioness that had killed livestock, testament to increased tolerance in the communities.
Photo by Mikael Castro
Total benefits to communal conservancies between 1998 and 2010 totaled N$179.3 million
In 2009, community-based natural resource management generated over N$ 42 million in income to rural Namibians.
The sustainable use of wildlife has produced the majority of cash incomes to conservancies - N$48.9 million.
Joint venture agreements with lodges brought in around N$30 million of cash to conservancies.
Is conservation management a viable solution for Africa? Chris Brown, aka Namibia’s Dr. Green, gives his thoughts on commercial farming vs. wildlife value in Africa. Read it here
Namibia is becoming a country of environmental stewards and one of the best examples globally of Nature Needs Half - read more here
EIS is a free, online information resource for public environmental information in Namibia.
Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Programme is a joint initiative of the Namibian Government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs) and rural area residents, with technical and financial support from international donors and conservation agencies.
The NamibRand Conservation Foundation (NRCF) is an independent non-profit-making organisation, established during 1997 under the patronage of the Namibia Nature Foundation. The aim of the NRCF is the promotion of conservation and facilitation of research projects in the NamibRand Nature Reserve and the south-western Namib region
Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN) is a non-governmental organisation that strives towards enhancing capacity for sustainable development on all levels of society.
The Namibia Nature Foundation is a non-governmental organisation, not-for-profit and a key player in Namibia's natural-resource management.
Protected Landscapes Conservation Areas Initiative (NAMPLACE) is a five year project established by The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) that aims to lift barriers for the establishment of a large scale network of protected landscapes and in so doing address the threats to habitat and species loss on a landscape level approach.
The Republic of Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism addresses specific environmental and wildlife management issues, rural development, tourism development and poverty reduction through policies, legislation, smart partnerships and innovative action.