“It is my pleasure to invite you to a brief get together on behalf of the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCFN) in the NACSO boardroom,” said Tapiwa Makiwa, CEO of the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCFN) trust, in his welcome to a social gathering on Friday 5th July 2019. After a long day at work, this surely sounded like a good start to the weekend.
Tapiwa was aiming at two birds with one stone by encouraging interaction between the CCFN management, NACSO member representatives, advisers, consultants, and stakeholders from different Namibian local financial institutions, all of whom were there to celebrate the aim of providing sustainable finance to Namibian conservation.
In attendance were some of the founding members of the Fund, Board and Investment Committee members, stakeholders and bankers from the First National Bank and KfW-the German Development Bank.
The gathering mixed a jovial mood with curiosity from participants about the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia. As always in Namibia, people exchanged pleasantries and information about their different organisations and what they do. Some were not fully acquainted with NACSO and the work that its members and partners do.
The informal discussion moved to formalities when CCFN CEO Makiwa welcomed everyone and explained that the aim of the meeting was to, “get information out there and share information with people about the CBNRM programme in Namibia, and the role of CCFN and its operational model. With NACSO already well known as a group of organisations that work together to assist conservancies to manage their natural resources for their own benefit, and to enhance conservation through Community Based Natural Resource Management activities (CBNRM), it was now very important to explain the role of the new CCFN Trust.
The trust fund was set up to move the CBNRM programme from donor-based dependency to a more financial sustainable structure. “The role of the fund is to raise, administer and manage funds to promote the financial sustainable development of Community Based Natural Resources Management programme,” said Tapiwa.
The trust has a sinking fund, also known as an endowment fund, which will be invested into three financial areas, the Minimum Support Package (MSP), Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), and Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC). These are some of the critical activities that were identified as crucial for the maintenance of the CBNRM Programme in the immediate future.
With HWC being one of the overarching issues in conservancies, CCFN has recently acquired 5 million Euros from KfW to tackle the problem. The two hour get together extended into five hours of talk about NACSO, CBNRM and CCFN, including the viewing of 2 short films about the programme. Everyone was now on the same page and seemed eager to give suggestions and recommendations on ways how to come up with a better system and model that will help diversify the programme, and at the same time ensure its financial sustainability.
“As Namibians most of whom are originally from communal conservation areas, we need to see how we can pitch in with our different positions and roles, and come up with better ways to ensure the sustainability of the programme,” said Maxi Louis, Director of NACSO, “and as the saying goes two heads are better one”.
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