What is the Namibia Nature Foundation?
The Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) is a non-governmental organisation, not-for-profit, established under a Deed of Trust as a charitable and funding institution of a public character, with an independent Board of Trustees.
What does the NNF Offer?
- Project and Programme co-ordination, facilitation and support.
- Excellent financial services and accountability in the management and administration of funds.
- A broad and detailed knowledge of the Namibian environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development issues.
- Extensive experience of project and programme planning, development, management and administration.
- Good networking with local, regional and international organisations.
- Extensive experience in grant-making and administration, including to emerging institutions.
- Vast experience with donors from all over the world.
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Key areas of expertise
- Environmental planning, coordination and support.
- Environmental assessments and audits.
- Planning, managing and administration of environmental programmes.
- Arid, semi-arid and dry sub humid ecosystems, as well as coastal and wetland systems.
- Sustainable Development support, coordination and initiatives.
- Biodiversity, Community Based Natural Resource Management, combating desertification, environmental policy, environmental information, Natural Resource Management, Logistics etc.
- Regional and International environmental issues, including Commission on Sustainable Development and Environmental Treaties and Conventions.
The primary aims of the NNF are to promote sustainable development, the conservation of biological diversity and natural ecosystems, and the wise and ethical use of natural resources for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future.
The NNF has adopted a number of objectives, as follows:
- Initiate, support and promote activities that conserve Namibia's environment, protect biological diversity and foster the sustainable and ethical use of natural resources
- Support and promote initiatives that strengthen Namibian institutions to better understand and manage natural resources
- Raise funds for conservation and environmental initiatives, in support of the mission statement
- Administer and manage funds for partners, donors, private sector, government, communities and project implementers
- Plan, develop, implement and manage selected projects and programmes, in support of the mission, with an emphasis on integrated, sustainable development
- Encourage and support sustainable community-based natural resource management initiatives
- Initiate and support activities that promote more effective and efficient use of resources, particularly where management of resources is devolved to the appropriate level and where local groups have identified good initiatives that could make a real difference
- Help strengthen natural resource institutions in ways that help them better understand and sustainably manage natural resources
- Cooperate and foster partnerships with other organisations - government, NGO, private sector, community and donor - to better promote sustainable development; and
- Raise awareness, promote and support environmental education and help build capacity in the fields of renewable natural resources and sustainable development.
Structure and organisation
The Executive Director reports to the NNF Board of Trustees, which meets quarterly to (i) approve the annual workplan and budget, and (ii) receive and review financial and technical reports. The AGM receives the Chairman's report, the presentation of audited financial statements and elects office bearers.
The NNF management approach rests strongly on partnerships, collaboration and strategic alliances. For example, the NNF is currently collaborating with four Directorates of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism on different programmes, with the Ministry of Fisheries, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, the National Botanical Institute, the National Museum, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Trade & Industry. The NNF is currently working with more than 25 NGOs and over 30 community-based organisations. In a number of cases, the NNF is supporting yet other community organisations through partner NGOs. The core professional staff of the NNF is responsible for the management and coordination of activities carried out by partner organisations and consultants.
The NNF is particularly strong on financial management and administration. The NNF keeps its overheads very low, on the principle that as large a proportion of the funds should get into the "field" as possible
The NNF receives funds from a wide range of donors, including multi-lateral institutions (World Bank, UNEP, FAO, CITES and Ramsar Secretariats and EU), bilateral government donors (DANIDA, Finnish Government, GTZ, NORAD, SIDA, USAID), international NGOs (IUCN, WWF), and local business sector partners in Namibia (e.g. Caltex, Total, Nedbank Namibia, First National Bank, Avis). The NNF's financial books and all project funds are audited every year by the independent international auditing firm KPMG. Large projects are audited separately; smaller projects are audited as part of the NNF audit. The NNF has never had a qualified audit.
The NNF currently has over 90 projects that it is implementing, managing or administering. These include small local initiatives, national programmes and regional projects. All of these projects or programmes are carried out in collaboration with other organisations such as government and NGOs. The main areas of support are:
- National Biodiversity - country study, strategy and grants to biodiversity support initiatives;
- Support to protected areas, including technical, financial and logistic;
- Protection of threatened and endangered species and habitats - elephants, rhino, cheetah, Hartmann's mountain zebra, flamingo, etc., and wetlands, inselbergs, coastal zone and riparian woodlands - including regional (transboundary) wetlands projects on the Zambezi and Okavango systems;
- Land-use and tourism planning - including the Sperrgebiet land-use plan and involvement in the development of regional tourism development plans and, based on this, compilation of tourism developments options at local community (conservancy) level;
- National Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Programme - strategic development, institutional support to partner implementing organisations, financial management, grant-making, fund raising, financial training to community institutions, monitoring & evaluation, etc. The NNF is responsible for bringing out an annual "State of Conservancy" Report, using a wide range of appropriate indicators;
- Natural resource economics - including land-use options, business enterprise assessments, development of a sustainable development index, etc.;
- Integrated River Basin Management and development, including work on the Okavango and Orange river systems, and including producing "Best Practice Guides" - both in technical and popular forms for ways of approaching Integrated, participator basin management approaches;
- Integrated and sustainable land management, working within the Country Pilot Partnership;
- Grants-making programmes, the currently NNF running six different grants mechanisms to provide funds to local levels in support of the notion "think globally, act locally". These grants mechanisms provide people with good projects with the resources to act;
- Environmental information - State of environment reporting, regional environmental profiles and environmental publications;
The NNF implements, supports and administers projects and programmes in approximately equal proportion. It has a vast amount of experience in working in supportive ways with partners, as well as leading initiative.
The NNF has established a well developed programme/project filing system, reference numbering system and projects data base is in place, which facilitates reporting, tracking obligations to partners and donors; all pertinent information needed for project administration and management is recorded and instantly accessible. A second data base holds information on capital assets per project as well as insurance details. The organisation is divided into three components (a) technical project/programme management/coordination (b) financial management and (c) administrative/office support.
The finance section (as well as the whole organisation) is fully computerised, and uses AccPac, Excel and Microsoft Office. Systems are backed up daily and weekly on tape streamers. The NNF also has electronic banking facilities, and most payments are made by electronic transfer within 24 hours.
Background and History
The Namibia Nature Foundation was founded in 1987. It was initially established to help the (then) Department of Nature Conservation to raise and administer funds for the conservation of wildlife and protected area management. Since then, the work of the NNF has expanded, in both scope and volume, to encompass the whole field of environment. While considerable emphasis is still placed on the protection of parks and endangered species, the current focus of work is on broad sustainable development: environment and people, environment and development. This is seen in our work in community-based natural resource management, combating of desertification, pollution and waste management, emphasis on policy, training and education, and our grants to initiatives that promote the democratisation of environmental management and that link socio-economic development with sound environmental management.
The various Directorates of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism are amongst our main partners. However, here too the NNF has expanded considerably and now also works with a range of other government organisations (e.g. Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry, Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Ministry of Trade & Industry) and non-government organisations (e.g. IUCN, WWF, IRDNC, RISE, Rössing Foundation, NACOBTA, Wildlife Society, NANGOF, NPC, AfriCat, Collect-a-Can, SRT, DRFN, etc.). The Namibia Nature Foundation fully endorses the environmental clauses in Namibia's national Constitution and works to implement the policies and programmes that are contained in, and have evolved from, Namibia's Green Plan. The NNF has evolved into a national institution that provides support to all relevant aspects of the environment in Namibia, to sustainable development and to wise and ethical natural resource management.