The Community Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCFN) was officially launched on 13 February 2020 by the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, in Windhoek, at the National Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM).
The non-profit organisation was established as a sustainable funding mechanism to ease the problem of limited funding, creating a sustainable finance framework for a suite of important long-term support services to conservancies and community forests. The creation of this fund is therefore aimed at reducing the community based natural resources management (CBNRM) sector’s dependence on external donor funding support.
The launch of this much needed conservation fund takes Namibia’s flagship community conservation programme to the next level. The funding windows will be the Minimum Support Packages (MSP), which aim to provide critical support services throughout the lifespan of the individual conservancies, the Payments For Ecosystems Services (PES), which will reward environmental custodians, and the Human-Wildlife Conflict, which intends to promote sustainable co-existence between humans and wildlife.
The CCFN Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tapiwa Makiwa emphasised the importance to capitalise the Endowment Fund from all sources as this creates the basis of a readily available pot of funds that can be wisely invested and used according to the needs of the programme. He noted that the CCFN had equipped itself with not only a sound investment strategy but also a team of expertise from local and international investment firms that would ensure that the fund is a success.
As part of CCFN’s Human-Wildlife Conflict funding window, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through the KfW Development Bank, announced the inception of a N$ 72.5 million grant for Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC), specifically targeted at communal conservancies in Namibia. The Namibian Government through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, CCFN and other partners has also committed various contributions to the project to ensure that the project is a success.
The German Ambassador to Namibia, Herbert Beck encouraged other partners as well as the private sector to invest in Namibia´s Community Conservation by supporting the CCFN. “While it is a pleasure to take the lead in supporting this new funding instrument of the CCFN, it is evident that more money is needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fund and the programs it supports,” he said.
Minister Shifeta appealed to various potential contributors to follow the example set by the German Government in supporting the CCFN, its work and the conservation drive of Namibia. Echoing the sentiments shared by the CCFN CEO, the Minister urged all local and foreign interested parties to consider supporting the capitalisation of the Endowment Fund to entrench the CBNRM Programme’s sustainability and preserve its success.
The Chairperson of the CCFN board, Hilma Weber gave a vote of thanks to WWF Namibia for funding CCFN’s inception and operational cost. She thanked ACACIA-US based and local companies such as Pointbreak and First National Bank for the support and the commitments they have made to support Namibian CBNRM and the CCFN.