Natural Resources Working Group

The Natural Resources Working Group is a voluntary association of natural resource specialists from NGOs and government ministries that work collectively to support conservancies and improve natural resource management in Namibia. Services provided to conservancies by NRWG can be separated into development activities and maintenance activities. Development activities will come to an end when all conservancies in Namibia are fully established and no longer require further development. Maintenance services are likely to continue indefinitely. They are currently supported with donor or government funds, but in future conservancies may be expected to pay for some of these services.

Services provided by NRWG

Main activity

Supporting monitoring and adaptive management

Conservancies use the Event Book system to monitor their resources. The NRWG provides training, materials, technical support, annual Natural Resource management (NRM) audits, and discusses management strategies. The Event Book database holds summary data, giving a national picture of natural resource management.

  • Annual Conservancy NRM Performance audit
  • Event Book Database
  • Regional Game Census
  • National Fire Monitoring
  • State of Conservancies' Reporting
  • Support establishment of Event Book Systems
  • Development of new Event Book modules
  • Annual supply of Event Book materials
  • Support Audit and Adaptive Management meetings
  • Assist with production of Annual Natural Resource (NR) reports

Additional activities

Leverage support for specific NR development projects

  • Leverage funds and donations to conservancies
  • Assist conservancies to find support for conservation projects

Support NR management activities

NR management involves a number of practical interventions. The NRWG helps to develop appropriate management systems and gives implementation training.

  • Assist Ministries develop devolved management policy and procedures
  • Support habitat management (e.g. fire)
  • Support development of law enforcement systems
  • Support development of Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) mitigation systems
  • Support game translocations to conservancies
  • Assist with ecosystem rehabilitation
  • Support development of harvesting systems
  • Support in co-management arrangements
  • Support services as requested to improve NR management systems

Supporting NRM communication and coordination

Communication and coordination are vital. The NRWG develops tools that conservancies use to communicate issues to members, stakeholders and their neighbours. The group also documents 'best practice' and lessons learnt.

  • Stimulate co-management arrangements between neighbouring conservancies and adjacent parks
  • Document and share NRM lessons learnt
  • Develop tools for conservancies to communicate with their members and stakeholders
  • Assist conservancies to identify stakeholders and service providers
  • Provide conservancies with information to create awareness of opportunities and constraints
  • Develop internal and external NRM communication channels
  • Support production of annual NRM reports

Natural resource utilisation support

Developing sustainable natural resource utilisation systems for a range of natural products will help conservancies to generate income and livelihood benefits.

  • Develop and improve game quota setting system and harvest guidelines
  • Develop plant product quota setting systems and harvest guidelines
  • Develop forest product quota setting systems and harvest guidelines
  • Develop fish harvesting systems and harvest guidelines
  • Assist with NR inventories as required
  • Assist in undertaking harvest feasibility assessments
  • Support development of sustainable use harvesting systems for Natural Resources
  • Assist with establishing annual harvest quotas of all Natural Resources
  • If required, assist with marketing of NR products

Management planning

Conservancies require a formalised agreement on how they will be managed and NRWG provides assistance to develop management plans. It also develops and constantly improves on a Management Plan framework.

  • Improve Management Plan framework
  • Develop national plans
  • Develop management manuals
  • Support zonation planning
  • Support management calendars
  • Support utilisation plans
  • Support modification of plans as requested

Human resource development

NRM requires people with adequate knowledge and skills. The NRWG advises conservancies on all aspects of NRM personnel and provides participatory training to conservancy members and colleagues.

  • Support skills development in NGO and government field staff as required
  • Promote NRM in curricula in formal education institutions
  • Support researchers as appropriate
  • Assist conservancies to identify NRM staff requirements
  • Support development of NRM staff job descriptions
  • Provide training to NRM staff
  • Provide update training to NRM staff as required

Mapping and information

Registered conservancies must have defined boundaries, and for planning they require maps showing features relevant to natural resource management and tourism development. The NRWG provides training in collecting spatial data and developing customised maps.

  • Maintain national CBNRM GIS
  • Maintain national CBNRM ConInfo (conservancy information)
  • Provide maps upon request
  • Provide general NRM information
  • Provide support for participatory mapping
  • Assist with boundary descriptions and maps