Conservation and Hunting
Namibia's conservation success story is attributed to CBNRM. It is a concept that the rural and somewhat nomadic pastoralists benefit directly from the wildlife that are in direct competition to their livelihoods. In exchange for their tolerance of living with these potentially dangerous and destructive animals, they benefit from the consumptive and non-consumptive utilisation of these animals in the form of hunting, tourism, meat (protein), employment and development. The right to manage the wildlife resources is given back to these rural communities to decide on the most beneficial way to utilise certain species with the help of the Ministry of Environment & Tourism and various non-profit organisation like WWF and IRDNC.
Community game scouts are employed to protect and monitor the game numbers, curb poaching, and communities actively protect the animals that they would otherwise drive out, providing more available land where the animals can continue existence. It allows more free movement of animals and their genetic signature, that would otherwise be contained in National Park and Private Reserve "Islands".
CBNRM is currently the most advanced conservation model available, and due to this, wildlife numbers in these rural areas have increased drastically to numbers exceeding original expectations. Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) still seems to be the biggest obstacle, and will always exist because of the increasing numbers of both humans and wildlife competing for the same resource, in a barren country like Namibia.
Hunting vs Poaching
A clear distinction has to be made between legal and illegal hunting. Legal hunting is done according to quotas and regulation, and on conservancy land provides an income to communities. Illegal hunting is theft, whether it be poaching for the pot by locals, or the shooting of high value animals for elephant tusks, rhino horns or animal hides. Poaching and the illegal wildlife trade are theft from the communities that conserve wildlife and benefit from its legal utilisation.