Globally, wildlife is in trouble. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reports that the world has lost 58% of its biodiversity since 1970. According to the Living Planet Report 2018, "wildlife populations have declined by over half in less than 50 years." A chief scientist at WWF stated: "39% of terrestrial wildlife gone, 39% of marine wildlife gone, 76% of freshwater wildlife gone – all in the past 40 years."
To counteract these trends, conservation organisations recommend a focus on sustainable development, and increasing efforts to protect natural habitats around the world.
In Namibia, internationally-lauded community conservation efforts have led to wildlife recoveries and environmental restoration. The examples are impressive and include:
- Namibia’s elephant population grew from around 7,500 to around 22,000 between 1995 and 2015
- Black rhinos roam freely in communal areas and are present on many freehold (private) farms
- There is an expanding free-roaming lion population outside national parks
- Species that had become locally extinct in the Zambezi Region, such as eland, giraffe and blue wildebeest, are thriving after re-introductions
- Populations of plains game across Namibia have increased substantially since the 1970s to approximately 2 million animals
- The land area under conservation has increased from 13% in 1990 to 43% in 2015
While increasing wildlife populations is encouraged both inside and outside national parks in Namibia, there is competition for space. Traditional wildlife migration routes are pressured by encroaching human settlements. The need for access to resources such as grazing and water also creates conflict, and this is exacerbated by drought.
Funding from Wildlife Credits can be applied to ensuring the maintenance of wildlife habitats and corridors that allow the safe movement for wildlife and protection for people.
Wildlife Credits helps to secure the existence of wildlife in Namibia by giving credit to those communities that are taking care of Africa’s iconic wildlife.
Tap or click on the animal icons found on the page to read more about the status and distribution of these species in Namibia.
Read the case studies in The Human Story to learn how some of these conflicts are being reduced and mitigated.