The Role of local communities in resource management

A case of Okongo Community Forest and Conservancy, Namibia


  • Nguza Siyambango Life Science Division, University of Namibia
  • Angula N. Enkono Department of Geography, History and Environmental Studies and Tourism Management, University of Namibia


Benefits, comparative, conservancy, common-pool resource, community- based natural resource management, functionaries


This paper presents the role of communities in resource management, with particular focus on the Okongo Community Forest and Conservancy. The study is part of the main research work that examined perspectives on community-based management practices, including the conservation area boundaries, but most importantly, the roles and responsibilities of various actors within the conservation area. The study was conducted to understand the state of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in the Okongo Community Forestry and Conservancy. It also explored the relationship between government functionaries and the local resource committees that are in existence as critical complementary proponents in the realisation of sustainable natural resource management. The study used a mixed research design, comprising qualitative and quantitative methods, and with this design, data collection methods included interviews and focus group discussions in four communities in the Okongo Community Forest and Conservancy, namely: Omauni East, Omauni West, Oshalande
and Kumininenge. A purposive sampling method was employed to select participants for the study. The study revealed that the management of resources such as water, wildlife, grazing areas and forestry was possible through management committees. Most of the committees were established with the aid of the government. The majority of respondents observed positive relationships between the government and the
committees; only few did not. Membership on such committees can be attributed to a strong interest in the management of resources, although some members are elected to serve in leadership positions irrespective of their commitment to resource management. Sadly, there are conflicts around the management of resources. However, these conflicts are either resolved strategically through community meetings or are directly dealt with by the committees. Overall, community participation has greatly improved access and the integrity of natural resources by ensuring equal distribution of resources and services within the conservation area.


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How to Cite

Siyambango, N. ., & Enkono, A. N. . (2022). The Role of local communities in resource management: A case of Okongo Community Forest and Conservancy, Namibia. Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, 11(1&2), 136–160. Retrieved from