Wildlife vs cattle: unauthorised newcomers cause tensions in Namibian conservation areas
Land is a major source of tension and dissatisfaction in Namibia and the courts are increasingly asked to step in when communities feel they are being ‘invaded’ by outsiders whose livestock put unbearable pressure on already scarce grazing resources. The latest such case involves a community trying to reinvent itself as a base for wildlife tourism: members of this community asked the court to order the removal of a number of families, with their livestock.
Community conflict over land and the best way to use it is still a major feature of Namibian litigation more than 30 years after independence.
The problem can be clearly seen in new decision by high court judge Shafimana Ueitele. This case is just one in a series that he and his colleagues have been asked to settle related to land use, particularly in the northern parts of the country.