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Uukwaluudhi singers head for Windhoek Tourism Expo

Conservation met culture when the North Central regional heat for the Conservation Song Competition took place on Saturday 23 May. The ladies of the Isak Katali Cultural Group left the Onganjera King’s Palace on the back of a bakkie, ululating and waving their fly whisks after beating Meme Penduka and Okakondo groups to a place in the final at Windhoek’s Tourism Expo.

This year, the Isak Katali from Uukwaluudhi Conservancy group will be up against competition from two other regional groups. Last year Twyfelfontein Country Lodge won for a second time in a row, and the year before that it was Doro Nawas, a Wilderness lodge. Both Kunene groups have gone on to perform at national events, and Doro Nawas travelled to Switzerland to perform at the Adventure Travel Trade Association, helping Namibia to become the host country in 2013.

The regional heat took place at the Ongandjera Royal Palace and was organized by Teo Ntinda of the Namibia Development Trust, who was a masterful MC. Teo was a NACSO intern on the Conservation Leadership Programme, and he thanks his mentors for the valuable training he received.

The audience was a small one, largely consisting of traditional leaders from Sheya Shuushona Conservancy. It seems that more than entertainment is required to draw a crowd. The budget for the event was small, and although the conservancy provided oshifima and chicken, there was not sufficient to attract an audience.

The Isak Katali group was formed in 2005 by Frieda Iipinge (pictured with two Okakondo singers), a maths and English teacher, together with faming ladies. They took the name to honour the then Minister of Mines, who comes from their area. Their aim, says Frieda, is to keep tradition alive and pass it on the their children.

“Whoooo, we are so proud to have won,” she said after the competition, at a meal hosted in the Palace of King Johannes Jafet Mupiya. Some ladies in the group have hardly been to Oshakati, says Frieda, so a trip to Windhoek will be a special experience.

The mix of cultures on display at the final, hosted by Nedbank on Thursday 11 June at 2 pm in the Events Tent promises to be great entertainment. Admission is free.

25 May 2015
sfelton@wwf.na
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What is NACSO?

Introduction

Brandberg, Namibia's highest mountain
Download a map showing Namibia's community forests.
Download a map showing Namibia's community forests (November 2012)
Download posters profiling Namibia's Communal Conservancies.
Download posters profiling Namibia's Communal Conservancies (June 2012)
Download booklets profiling Namibia's Communal Conservancies.
Download booklets profiling Namibia's Communal Conservancies (June 2012)
New booklet - Tips for Joint Venture Partnerships in Tourism
Download the booklet - Tips for JV Partnerships in Tourism [3.5 MB].
View Destination Namibia - a new film
View Destination Namibia - a short film that showcases Namibia as a tourism destination.
Download a brochure on Namibia's Communal Conservancies
Download the brochure on Namibia's communal conservancies. [pdf 2MB]
Visit the Community Conservation Namibia website.
Planning a trip to Namibia's communal conservancies? Visit the Community Conservation Namibia website: it offers a location map and detailed information about those conservancies offering amenities and activities like lodging, photo and wildlife safaris, food and dining, cultural attractions and more.
The majority of Namibians depend directly on natural resources for their day-to-day needs.
Photo: David Sandison
Development of natural products, such as oil from Kalahari Melons, can enhance the livelihoods of rural communities.
Photo: Peggy Poncelet

The Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Support Organisations (NACSO) is an association comprising 14 Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and the University of Namibia. The purpose of NACSO is to provide quality services to rural communities seeking to manage and utilise their natural resources in a sustainable manner.

The philosophy of forming NACSO was to harness the wide range of skills available in Government, NGOs and the University into a complementary nation-wide CBNRM support service. The rationale behind this is that it is unlikely that any single institution houses all of the skills, resources and capacity to provide community organisations with the multi-disciplinary assistance that is required to develop the broad range of CBNRM initiatives taking place in Namibia. These skills could include advice on governance and institutional issues, on natural resources management and assistance with financial and business planning.

Download NACSO's Five-Year Strategic Plan [pdf 243kb].

NACSO's history

The NACSO concept was conceived in 1996 under the title of Communal Area Resource Management Support (CARMS).

However, it was not until August 1998, when a meeting of CBNRM support organisations was convened, that the CBNRM partners began seriously developing the NACSO concept. In September 1999 the CBNRM partners approved the constitution for the CBNRM Association of Namibia (CAN), and the CBNRM Association gained legal status. However, in February 2001 CAN was required to change its name to NACSO because the Cancer Association of Namibia, also with the acronym of CAN, justifiably complained that two organisations in Namibia should not be operating under the same name.

The important work carried out by NACSO on rural development projects, in conjunction with NGOs such as IRDNC, Namibia Nature Foundation, Rössing Foundation and Rise Namibia, has continued. In April 2007 the European Community awarded a contract to Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) to provide four Volunteers and a Project Coordinator to NACSO for the Community Enterprise Support Project (CESP). The objective of this four year project is to improve the livelihoods of rural communities by developing sustainable enterprises based on tourism, crafts and natural products.

NACSO's Constitution

The constitution comprises 14 sections in which NACSO's formation, operations, procedures and membership are defined, and it is provided in full here. An introductory paragraph and section 1 describe the broad structure and objectives, whilst the aims, objective and functions are listed in section 2. The 12 objectives mainly concern the promotion and development of CBNRM, and the 8 functions illustrate the activities NACSO may undertake.

In sections 3, 4 and 5 the organisation, the founding membership and the rules for representation on NACSO are given. The powers and functions of the organisation, in supporting the objectives, are given in section 6. The functions of the Management Committee and Working Groups, and the Secretariat are described in sections 7 and 8 respectively. The procedures for grant management, conducting meetings, and financial management are given in section 9, 10 and 11. In the final 3 sections dispute resolution procedures, dissolution and constitutional amendments are specified.

Download the constitution here [pdf 76 kb].

Policy and legislative basis of CBNRM in Namibia

Since independence in 1990, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has pursued a legislative policy to support the introduction and development of Communal Area Conservancies and this led to the creation of NACSO. The following policies and legislation have been enacted to support the Conservancy programme.

  1. MET Policy Document - Wildlife Management, Utilisation and Tourism in Communal Areas (June 1995);
  2. MET Policy Document - Community-Based Tourism Development (June 1995) [pdf 42 kb]; and
  3. Amendment No. 5 of 1996: Nature Conservation Amendment Act, 1996 [pdf 440 kb]; and
  4. Government Notice No. 304 of 1996 - MET Amendment of Regulations Relating to Nature Conservation

These policies and the accompanying legislation have supported a nation-wide conservation and development movement that - by the end of 2007, less than 10 years after the first conservancy was gazetted - involved over 220,000 residents in 50 registered conservancies on over 118,700 km2 of communal land and generated income and benefits totaling over N$39 million. While government has passed many new policies and legislation since independence, few if any, have had the marked impact this MET programme is having.

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