The Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) had an exciting week of learning, sharing, and planning with its members and other key stakeholders.
The past 9 months have been an interesting journey of finding new and innovative ways of working. One of the areas the organization improved on was the use of technology and digital platforms which allowed for work to continue despite the challenges.
The NACSO secretariat does not work on its own but interacts with other NGOs outside the conservation field and forms strategic partnerships. NACSO has worked well towards raising awareness on key issues by creating awareness through films, one of which is “Into the Wild Beyond the Trigger” which will be premiered on YouTube on 20 October 2022.
Learning and sharing are integral aspects for NACSO to help showcase the world-renowned Namibian CBNRM program and the people involved in making it a success, as well as sharing the challenges faced. NACSO has had opportunities to host exchange visits, one of them with the Somaliland parliamentarian delegation. There have been opportunities to share the CBNRM work and information with Masters students from the University of Cologne. The secretariat continues to share information on conservation work in Namibia in various international platforms and publications. NACSO continues to advocate for supportive policies and legislation at both national and international platforms.
There are new projects on board, and these are focusing on community rights with regard to extractive industries, which has promoted new partnerships. NACSO is also planning to register as a training institute as a way to formalise training within the civil society sector, more information to follow soon.
The grants through Community Conservation Fund Namibia have assisted the NACSO secretariat and the working groups to continue to cover their operations. NACSO recognises the need to strengthen networks and key strategic partnerships.
The success and challenges of the various member organizations were shared. WWF Country Director, Dr. Juliane Zeidler, commends the work being done by partners in community conservation. WWF looks forward to working on other environmental issues and acknowledges the need to work together to strengthen these.
The Director of Wildlife and National Parks from the Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism, Bennett Kahuure, mentioned the importance of how partners share CBNRM information and the need to streamline how data is captured and reported. He commended the network for being able to produce the annual report even during the covid period. The series of regional chairpersons forums that were held were a success due to the collaboration of various partners. Critical issues emerged from these meetings, and some are being dealt with immediately which shows how fast partners act to needs on the ground. The others are legislative matters and other issues that require long-term strategic planning.
NACSO launched its new strategic plan for 2023-2026. The strategy is guided by the following goals:
- Sustaining a well-functioning Members’ Association capable of executing its mission.
- Developing leaders at all levels
- Enhancing coordination, collaboration, learning, and sharing.
- Expanding the impact of CBNRM beyond wildlife
You can download the Strategic Plan here.
To move things forward, NACSO is working on an action plan in order to accomplish the strategic goals and continue to strengthen CBNRM in Namibia.