Practitioner perspectives on the spread of conservancies in Namibia

Authors: Sarah Milligan*, , Morena Mills, Imperial College London - Centre for Environmental Policy
Topics: Social Geography, Africa, Qualitative Research
Keywords: CBNRM, diffusion of innovation, adoption, communal conservancies, general elimination methodology, integrated conservation and development
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 4:55 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Beverly, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Terrace Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There is no shortage of conservation initiatives and yet, many of them fail to capture the
momentum needed to address some of the more pressing conservation issues of our time. There is a concerted push from many researchers and practitioners to understand and map the differences behind initiatives that spread and initiatives that stagnate. Because Namibia has registered 86 Conservancies in 30 years, the spread of conservancies in Namibia presents a unique case study for analyzing the conditions for adoption and spread of a conservation initiative at a large scale over a short period of time.

For this research, I interviewed long term members of Conservancy support organizations in order to gain their insights and reflections on the spread of communal Conservancies within Namibia. My research applies an adapted Diffusion of Innovation framework. Through this framing and analysis of interview data, I identify factors, critical junctures and unique contexts that have contributed to the spread of Conservancies in Namibia over time. I found that the adopter, context, and innovation characteristic themes were all relevant and key components of the spread in Namibia. I also found that the factors associated with each thematic cluster were usually interrelated in ways that impacted the sustained adoption, as well as the spread of Conservancies in Namibia.

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