Namibia Sustainable Forest Management (NSFM) Project
Project duration: 2020 - 2023
Promoting Sustainable Forest Management in the Kavango-Zambezi-Region in Namibia Project
The ‘Promoting Sustainable Forest Management in the Kavango-Zambezi Region in Namibia’ (NSFM) Project, funded by the European Union (EU) (2020 – 2023) and implemented together with the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), aims to support an active multi-stakeholder dialogue on Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) with a focus on valuable hardwood to contribute to the improved implementation of SFM in the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Region of Namibia.
Namibia is endowed with an abundance of natural resources. The north and northeastern regions of the country are characterised by, inter alia, hardwod forests. The export of hardwood from Africa to parts of Asia has significantly increased over the past decade due to a regional demand for particular timber species such as Rosewood and African Teak. However, the profits accumulated from Namibia's yearly timber harvest have been limited due to the undervaluing of domestic wood prices compared to international price trends. Moreover, Namibia does not possess the infrastructure needed to organise a value chain to correct this pricing discrepancy and retain the overall value of its hardwood. Instead, the wood is largely exported as a raw material, thereby limiting the revenue that can be raised from Namibia's timber resources.
In recent years, a growing number of media reports and related public discussions have sought to address how Namibia's hardwood resources are being harvested, in many cases, unsustainably. To assist in the resolution of this concerning trend, the HSF and the DRFN have joined forces to support the Namibian government in its efforts to safeguard against the environmental and economic threats posed by unsustainable timber usage and uncontrolled deforestation.
The NSFM Project aims to raise awareness, support information exchange and encourage appreciation for diverging views as well as build skills, knowledge and capacities to implement SFM amongst the target groups. The Project’s target groups include various stakeholders from nature and environmental organisations and other civil society groups, political and traditional decision-makers, administrative representatives, members of Community Forests, local leaders and youth representatives. Key strategies to achieve these goals include the creation and distribution of publications and information material, public dialogue events, interactive educational activities, conferences, and study trips. Support will also be derived from the TH!NK Namibia Information Campaign which will be continuing into its fourth phase with a focus on informing interested individuals about the importance of SFM and the achievements of the NSFM Project.
The Objectives of the NSFM Project are:
To introduce the concept of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and raise awareness about its benefits among members of Community Forests (CF) and of the respective local communities, multipliers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and their surrounding as well as decision-makers;
To strengthen the knowledge and skills around SFM among members of Community Forests, multipliers, members of Civil Society Organisations and decision-makers;
To improve the appreciation for different and diverging views on SFM among political and traditional decision-makers, civic society representatives as well as other stakeholders.
The target groups of the NSFM Project include Community Forest Members, multipliers such as leading members of communities or youth representatives, nature and environment organisations as well as decision-makers on national, regional and local level.