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From Exploitation to Ownership: Wildlife-Based Tourism and Communal Area Conservancies in Namibia

Abstract

Prior to Namibia’s Independence in 1990 tourism on communal land in Namibia was dominated by white-owned businesses. Tourism brought little benefit to the people living on the communal land. They mostly had menial jobs as cleaners and gardeners or possibly as cooks. In 1996 the Namibian Government introduced legislation that gave communal area residents rights over wildlife and tourism on their land if they formed common property resource management institutions called conservancies. The conservancies have become central in the evolution of new institutional arrangements for community involvement in tourism. One of the main ways in which conservancies earn income is through “joint venture” tourism development in some form of partnership with the private sector. This chapter first considers the evolution of the conservancy institutional approach. It then compares different models of community involvement in tourism in relation to issues of community ownership, exposure to business risk and maximising income.

Keywords

  • Community-based natural resource management
  • Conservancies
  • Joint ventures
  • Namibia

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Fig. 2.1
Fig. 2.2

Notes

  1. 1.

    The PTO system has since 2002 been replaced by the issuing of leases for tourism businesses on communal land by Communal Land Boards established under land legislation.

  2. 2.

    Usually the leasehold rights.

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Correspondence to Brian T. B. Jones .

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Jones, B.T.B., Diggle, R.W., Thouless, C. (2015). From Exploitation to Ownership: Wildlife-Based Tourism and Communal Area Conservancies in Namibia. In: van der Duim, R., Lamers, M., van Wijk, J. (eds) Institutional Arrangements for Conservation, Development and Tourism in Eastern and Southern Africa. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9529-6_2

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