About Project LIFE (Living in a Finite Environment)
The "Living in a Finite Environment" (LIFE) project provides assistance to comprehensive community-based natural resource management programmes through the provision of technical support, training, grants, and regional coordination and information dissemination to government agencies, NGOs, and communities.
As conservancies are now expanding to all corners of the country, it is important that a nationwide capacity be built into conservancy support organizations to assist in the development and rolling-out of conservancy management and monitoring systems.
Similarly, as conservancies expand their management mandate beyond wildlife to other natural resources, the project will assist with the integration of management approaches for new natural resources into conservancy management plans.
LIFE, which started in May 1993, is now in its third implementation phase (LIFE Plus). The Project is being implemented by WWF through a cooperative agreement with USAID. Institutional partners to WWF under the agreement include: Namibia Nature Foundation; Cooperative League of the United States of America; and International Resources Group, Inc.
Key elements of community-based natural resource management which are being supported by the project include:
- Empowerment of local residents as natural resource managers and recognized, equitable decision-makers;
- Strengthening of community-based organizations as mechanisms for participation, stewardship, and resource management;
- Generation of benefits linked to sustainable management of the resources, including income and employment;
- Applied research in the social and biological fields to develop appropriate and relevant natural resource management strategies, for programme monitoring, and for monitoring the natural resource base;
- Extension and training to increase local environmental awareness and resource management skills; and
- Support and information for decision-makers, including policy research and dialogue.