NAFOLA’s projects reflect its collaborative approach and preference for local involvement. We aim at successfully designing and leading projects and collaborations to restore and protect the community forests, and to reconcile and enhance the relationship between communities and the forests of the Namibia. Throughout Namibia, NAFOLA works with local partners and communities to ensure that projects are implemented according to local traditions, customs and manners. This grassroots approach is the same with governments or local communities, and generates a strong network of regional involvement, knowledge, and practice.
NAFOLA is an ongoing conservation project, focused on practical outcomes in policy, new forest areas, new funding mechanisms, trainings for communities and professionals, and more. NAFOLA is currently assisting in completing the gazetting process and building the capacity of community forest management groups, through training programs and awareness activities.
NAFOLA Project is working towards submission of legal documents for gazetting of two Community Forests by end of 2015. At the same time, the project initiated gazetting process for the other six emerging Community Forests (hotspots). The gazetting process is guided by the Community Forestry manual, which consists of ten milestones.Progress in two (Ongandjera and Otshikushithiilonde) of the three targeted community forests for documents submission is on track. All draft documents have been compiled for the two community forests and necessary awareness raising activities have taken place in Ongandjera.
Gazetting is the formal registration and official declaration of a Community Forest which involves an application process as well as consensus; a collaboration with the community. Once a Community Forest is gazetted, it receives stronger rights over the management and sustainable use of its forest resources. Gazetting Community forests means that communities can take over law enforcement functions within their area – giving management committees within the Community Forest legal status and allowing them to acquire mandates, such as entering into contracts with third parties and retain income from permits.
NAFOLA is a five-year GEF funded project implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. The overall objective is to reduce pressures on natural resources from competing land uses in the wider landscape. NAFOLA is doing this by facilitating the formalisation of 9 Community Forests as well as enhancing community ownership and local capacity in the management of community forest resources.
Furthermore, NAFOLA aims to increase the uptake of improved agriculture, livestock and forestry management practises to reduce pressure on forest resources. This will increase the productivity of the dry lands ecosystem while also reducing deforestation and securing the environmental benefits of forest resources in Namibia. The land use practises in communal lands comprise of a large portion of subsistence crop and livestock farming.