NACSO Director: Ms. Maxi Pia Louis
My background is tourism, and as a child I wanted to travel the world, meet people and share cultural experiences. Today I share these experiences all over the world and learn so much from people in the conservation and tourism industry. I’m passionate about working with communities in rural areas — 80% of land in Africa is home to wildlife, natural resource users and poor communities that cannot be ignored by our decision-makers. Partnerships between Tourism and Conservation have made significant changes in rural Namibia, and I believe they can be used as one of the tools to address issues of development in Africa. I have dedicated myself to the Community Based Natural Resources Management Programme for the last 15 years in government and non-government agencies.
Business, Enterprise and Livelihoods Working Group Co-ordinator: Richard Diggle
Richard is a Business and CBNRM specialist at World Wildlife Fund in Namibia. Richard has 30 years of experience working in community-based conservation, first with the CAMPFIRE programme in Zimbabwe, then with IRDNC in the Zambezi and now with WWF Namibia. His background of working in the banking industry in his previous career has enabled him to understand supply and value chains and how to establish partnerships between communities and the private sector that generate sustainable returns that can be invested back into conservation and social projects.
GIS manager: Katharina Dierkes
Also currently acting in the role as the Co-ordinator for the NRWG.
Katharina has a Masters-level degree in Geography from the University of Regensburg in Germany, and fifteen years experience as a consultant in the fields of GIS. Her experience has embraced spatial analysis and planning, with particular reference to hydrogeological and natural resources, but also to water supply infrastructure and town planning. Her work for engineers and town & regional planners as well as for a wide range of government, private, NGO and donor clients, has enabled her to offer specialised services in the collection and management of spatial information and its interpretation, GIS applications and GIS data management. Katharina joined NACSO and the Natural Resource Working Group as a consultant in October 2014.
Adaptive Management Officer: Herman Aindongo
Herman Aindongo comes from Omusati region in northern Namibia. He has a Honours degree in Natural Resources Management and Nature Conservation from the Namibian University of Science and Technology and is currently persuing a Masters from the same institution. Herman is genuinely passionate about nature, especially the vast untouched Namibian landscapes and enjoys working with people. He started off at NACSO in 2017 as an intern for the Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme and he is now NACSO's Adaptive Management Officer. He strives for the success of conservation in Namibia and to improve livelihoods of rural Namibians.
Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme Intern: Soini Shatilue
Soini Shatilue graduated from the University of Namibia (UNAM) with a degree in Tourism Management and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). Through her studies she learnt that Tourism is multifaceted and therefore does not only focus on travelling for pleasure but also touches on other areas such as environmental protection and CBNRM. She is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Conservation Leadership Programme, giving her an opportunity not only to enhance her interpersonal skills and grow at both the individual and professional level, but also assist communities to practice community-based tourism. She will use her knowledge and skills to contribute significantly to communities around Namibia in enhancing their way of living and protecting the environment as well as natural resources. Her goal is to encourage and raise awareness to others to engage in environmental activities.
Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme Intern: Victoria Hailapa
Victoria Hailapa holds a Bachelor in Regional and Rural Development Honours obtained from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Having been exposed to both urban and rural environments, she enrolled for this field of study to contribute and elevate the development of rural areas in Namibia. With her field of study, she was exposed to different subjects such as natural resource management, GIS, spatial planning, economic development, and community work. She brings in experience in data collection, entry and management, research and report writing. Victoria believes that we only have one earth, and we should conserve our natural resources for ourselves and the future generations. She is excited for the Conservation Leadership Programme and believes it will contribute to her personal growth while making a meaningful impact in Namibia’s rural communities through the CBNRM programme. Within the two-year internship, she plans to work hard, network and learn as much as possible.
Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme Intern: Margret Hasheela
Margret Hasheela comes from a small village in Oshana Region, Northern Namibia. She has an Honors Degree in Communications from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Margret ispassionate about conserving the environment in a sustainable manner for the benefit of current and future generations. She feels grounded in nature and looks forward to telling her future children about how the work she does helps conserve wildlife and wild places. Margret has a keen interest in Communication for Development and ensuring that the voices of the people living in communities are heard and that development efforts are community-centric. She is a 4th year Bachelor of Law (LLB) student with a particular interest in the role that the law and policy can play in ensuring that development efforts build on the national development agenda of inclusivity and shared prosperity. She looks forward to working alongside CBNRM experts and practitioners with a shared passion for community conservation.
Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme Intern: Josephine Amwaalwa
Josephine is an ecologist at heart and she was born and raised in Windhoek. She earned her Honours degree in Natural Resources Management from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. From an early age, her visits to her grandmother in the northern part of Namibia sparked a fascination and interest for the natural world and its critters. Josephine's passion lies in research and finding nature-based solutions to conservation issues. From the Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Program internship, she expects to gain a deeper understanding of the practicalities of different solutions for improving human-wildlife co-existence. Her curiosity and love for nature are ultimately what fuels her enthusiasm to keep exploring different conservation perspectives.