Diversity of governance arrangements for indigenous natural products in communal areas of Namibia

K.F. Wiersum, A. Ndeinoma

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review


The concept of non-timber forest product governance has recently been introduced for studying policy processes and dynamics for access, conservation and trade of non-timber forest products. Thisliterature shows that non-timber forest products are mostly embedded within forestry, wildlife and agricultural sectors. Within each sector a different institutional context exists which influence use, management and trade of these products. Few studies so far exists that utilizes political theories to understand the different arrangements (governance arrangements) that emerged within these institutional contexts. This paper uses an institutional theoretical approach to assess governance arrangements for access to resources and markets of seven non-timber forest products in different communal areas of Namibia. Non-timber forest products are commonly referred to indigenous natural products in Namibia. The study showed that governance arrangements for different products are mainly characterized by a co-governance model with varied degree of state involvement. Degree of state involvement is determined by conservation status of indigenous species, tenure systems in which indigenous species are located and the extent of product commercialization. The study also shows that not only the institutional context of the agricultural sector have influenced these governance arrangements but also the but also the different socio-economic and natural trends such as community based natural resource management, processing technology advancement and climate changes. There is therefore a need for a flexible approach to different indigenous natural products in order to allow tailor made mechanisms that are responsive to specific products, tenure forms and markets.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventWFC 2015 XIV World Forestry Congress, Durban, South Africa -
Duration: 7 Sep 201511 Sep 2015


ConferenceWFC 2015 XIV World Forestry Congress, Durban, South Africa


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