In several countries, it has been observed that development of policies and regulations for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) rarely follows a systematic approach. This paper characterises the diversity of governance arrangements for accessing and marketing indigenous natural products in communal areas of Namibia. Applying concepts from environmental governance, two main types of governance arrangements for accessing NTFPs are distinguished, i.e. community-level self-organised governance and network governance between the state and local communities. Application of the theory of global value chain governance reveals three main types of governance arrangements for accessing NTFP markets. These are: (1) market value chains for coordinating access to informal domestic markets, (2) captive value chains and (3) quasi-hierarchical value chains for accessing global markets. The arrangements for accessing resources and markets are further integrated into three main modes of NTFP governance in Namibia, i.e. network governance with high degree of state involvement; network governance with low degree of state involvement and active involvement of local communities and civil society; and a community-based self-organised governance at local level with dominance of local authorities. Considering this differentiated governance approach, there is scope for the development of an integrated policy framework that recognises NTFPs based on the different governance arrangements.