In July, our Communities for Conservation team took the chairpersons and secretaries from each of the community trusts to meet with community trust representatives from Angola, Namibia and Zambia at a bi-annual event held at the Mayuni Conservancy in Namibia. In the 4-day visit, conservancy/trust representatives and stakeholders reported on major activities, achievements, challenges and solutions faced in the previous six months, including offering brief financial reports. The information exchange proved to be a valuable learning experience for the trust members from Xwiskurusa Natural Resources and Conservation Trust (XNRCT) and Au She Xha Ulu Natural Resources and Conservation Trust (ANRCT). The trust members were very impressed with the professionalism of the other trusts and saw the benefit of having multiple income streams to secure more reliable income for their communities. At present, both XNRCT and ANRCT rely almost entirely on money generated from the sale of hunting quotas in their concessions, but they look forward to the day when they can supplement and hopefully complement this income with non-consumptive opportunities. They left motivated to improve their skills for the betterment of their respective communities and they have made a list of suggested actions to do just this including on how to improve communication within their communities.
The Botswana delegation was extended an invitation to join the transboundary conservancy trust platforms so that they could be included in this exciting network of conservancy trusts, NGOs and government entities. We hope that this network will continue to provide guidance, support and inspiration to the trusts over the coming years, and will surely benefit the growth and development of their communities.