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2014-05-21 | Peer Reviewed

Community-based wildlife management failing to link conservation and financial viability

Humavindu, Michael Nokoure and Jesper Stage. 2014. “Community-based wildlife management failing to link conservation and financial viability.” Animal Conservation 18:1: 4-13.
Download reference Doi:10.1111/acv.12134

Given the considerable popularity of community-based wildlife management as a conservation tool, it is of interest to assess the long-run sustainability of this policy not only in conservation terms, but also in financial terms. In this paper, we use cost–benefit analysis to study the social and financial sustainability of a large set of community conservancies in Namibia, one of the few countries where community-based wildlife management policies have been in place long enough to assess their long-term viability.

We find that, although the social sustainability is generally good, the financial sustainability is problematic – especially for the younger conservancies: there is no real link between conservation achievements and financial success. This calls into question the long-term sustainability of many of these conservancies: if they are unable to generate enough revenue to pay for their running expenditure, they will eventually fail – even if they are successful from a conservation point of view. Similar problems, linked to the way in which external funders have pushed for additional conservancies to be established regardless of financial considerations, are likely to be present in other countries that have implemented such programmes.