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Equator Initiative Case Study – Torra Conservancy

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Torra Conservancy, located on communal lands in the Kunene region of northwest Namibia, is home to more than 1,200 residents, living in small settlements scattered across the 3,493-km2 territory. In 1995, the conservancy began a search for investors to develop an ecotourism enterprise in the territory, represented by the Ward 11 Residents’ Association Trust in negotiations. An eco-lodge was constructed in partnership with Wilderness Safaris Namibia, a private tourism operator, the first joint-venture agreement of its kind in Namibia.
Wilderness Safaris Namibia operates and maintains Damaraland Camp as a profitable ecotourism enterprise. Since its opening in 1996, the camp has been staffed mainly by local community members and, since 2002, managed by conservancy residents. Jobs at Damaraland Camp provide income for 23 full-time employees and managers, while Torra Conservancy also generates revenues through rent received from Wilderness Safari Namibia. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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