MCA Namibia officially launched the Conservancy Development Support Service (CDSS) Programme on 8th July 2011 in the Omusati region. The Programme targets 31 conservancies including two (2) areas adjacent to the Etosha National Park. The four (4) targeted conservancies in the North Central regions namely Sheya Shuushona, Uukwaluudhi, Uukolonkadhi-Ruacana and King Nehale all sent representatives.
The Conservancy Development Support Services (CDSS) Programme’s objective is to enhance the skills of conservancies in Governance, Natural Resources Management as well as Tourism Enterprise Development through dedicated training and capacity building over the lifespan of the Compact until August 2014.
Furthermore, the CDSS Programme will assist conservancies to develop and submit grant application to the Conservancy Development Support Grants Fund (CDSGF) for funding. Other activities included in the CDSS Programme are exposure trips aimed at creating exposure and raising awareness in managing their conservancies business like through shared learning from those already involved in partnerships in owning and running tourism ventures.
Members of the conservancies of Sheya Shuushona, Uukwaluudhi, Uukolonkadhi-Ruacana and King Nehale at the launch in Okahao.
Officiating at the launch, the Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Honourable Uahekua Herunga thanked MCA Namibia for the support to the communal conservancies. “I am happy that MCA Namibia will strengthen the capacity of conservancies to protect their natural resources, attract investment, and achieve financial sustainability so that conservancies and the households that comprise conservancy membership can receive a greater share of revenues”.
A total amount to the tune of US$8.6million has been earmarked under the CSDGF to support conservancies in the area of Tourism Joint Ventures, Marketing, Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation, Game Translocations, Pre-Grant Professional Services and Small Tourism Enterprises. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in consortium with Namibian NGOs namely Namibia Development Trust (NDT), Nyae Nyae Development Foundation, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) and Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) are implementing the CDSS Programme.