Garth Owen-Smith and Margaret Jacobsohn

Garth Owen-Smith and Margaret Jacobsohn


In a remote corner of Kunene Province in North-Western Namibia, Garth Owen-Smith and Margaret Jacobsohn have been working quietly to link wildlife conservation with the needs of the local Himba, Herero and other peoples. Owen-Smith's and Jacobsohn's 20 years in the field have resulted in an auxiliary game guard system using local communities to manage and protect the wildlife. The system, in operation since 1982, is an example of conservation extension in practice. The approach has pioneered what is known as community-based conservation in Namibia. Their work has resulted in the protection of the last population of desert-adapted black rhino and elephant. Since Namibia's independence, a challenging new dimension has been added to their work. This is the development of a national community-based conservation programme by the newly formed Ministry of Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism, patterned after the field successes of their earlier work. The result is a national programme aimed at designing natural resource and land-use plans with local communities, not for them. This is now becoming a model for communities throughout Africa. For their 20 years in the field, Owen-Smith and Jacobsohn won the 1993 Goldman Prize awarded to grassroots environmentalists from the six inhabited continents.Garth Owen-Smith and Margaret Jacobsohn

Additional Info

  • Location:


    3rd Floor Office Block

    Maerua Park


  • Phone Number: 264 -61-228506/9
  • Fax Number: 264-61-228503
  • E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Website: Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation Webpage