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State of Conservancy reports

The USAID Life Programme supported the production of the book "Namibia's communal conservancies: a review of progress and challenges" in 2004. By then, there were 29 registered conservancies.

An updated edition of the State of the Conservancies was published in 2006 covering the 44 conservancies which had registered by 2005.

The next edition of the State of the Conservancies was published in 2008 covering the 50 conservancies which had registered by 2007.

High resolution pdf files, provided as zip files, of the SOC books can be downloaded from the NACSO website which includes up-to-date maps of Namibia's conservancies, conservancy profiles and a lot more information.


Conservancies are self-defined common property management and social units. These unfenced multiple use areas are zoned by members for their livelihood needs, including crop and livestock farming, mixed wild and domestic animal grazing and exclusive wildlife and tourism. In return for responsible management of wildlife, government gives a conservancy the rights over its consumptive and non-consumptive use.

Conservancy members (share-holders) are required to elect a representative committee (board of directors) to manage natural resources and equitably distribute income derived from tourism and hunting. Most conservancies employ game guards, field officers and community activators.

By the end of 2009, 59 communal area conservancies had been gazetted and 5 more were registered in the first half of 2010, bringing the total to 64. Over 144,000 km2 of land, incorporating more than 234,000 people, are currently in the national conservancy program. Many more conservancies are in the process of completing the registration requirements.

Wildlife numbers have continued to increase in the Kunene Region which has become a major eco-tourism destination. Caprivi's wildlife is also recovering and Community-based Natural Resource Management has started contributing significant income to rural communities.

For up to date information about Namibia's communal area conservancies, please visit the NACSO website.