This paper surveys different economic aspects of biodiversity conservation in Namibia's wildlife sector. One of the main causes of biodiversity loss has been the conversion of wildlife habitat to other land uses, notably livestock and crops. However, wildlife utilization strategies potentially yield significantly higher economic rates of return compared to these traditional land uses. Historically, the move towards land use patterns more favourable to wildlife has been hampered by a number of policy and institutional constraints. Since Namibia's independence, many of these constraints have now been removed or are in the process of reform. These moves are already encouraging investment in wildlife utilization, most notably in wildlife tourism and related activities. Some forms of wildlife utilization, particularly ecotourism and photographic safaris, will certainly complement the national and international commitment to biodiversity conservation. Consumptive uses may be economically attractive in some areas and will discourage further habitat conversion. However, uses which involve specialized management for the production of a few species may alter the species composition and functioning of ecosystems, causing conflict between the aims of wildlife utilization and biodiversity conservation. Less tangible components of biodiversity may remain under threat even under a well-designed wildlife utilization policy.
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Richardson, J.a. Wildlife utilization and biodiversity conservation in Namibia: conflicting or complementaryobjectives?. Biodiversity and Conservation 7, 549–559 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008883813644