The NACOMA Project was launched in 2006 as part of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, acting on behalf of  the Government of the Republic of Namibia. The Government of the Republic of Namibia, alongside the Global Environmental Facility, funded the project since its inception. The GEF funding came to an end on the 31st of December 2015. The main aim of the project is to pave the way towards an Integrated Coastal Zone Management system for Namibia's coast.

NACOMA activities are grouped into four interlinked components that aim to assist the Namibian Government of Namibia at national, regional and local levels to address key issues facing coastal three key sector issues identified as:

  1. lack of a common vision and mainstreaming of biodiversity conservation into development planning and management for the coastal zone;
  2. increasing anthropogenic threats to fragile coastal ecosystems in particular related to uncontrolled economic activities;
  3. slow decentralization with an absence of environmental functions delegated. All components are closely interlinked and are addressing these key sector issues together.
Component 1

Policy, Legal and Institutional Framework for Sustainable Ecosystem Management of the Namib Coast

This component aims to fill the current gap for mainstreaming of biodiversity conservation and management into policy, legal and institutional structures affecting the development of the coastal zone. It focuses on the development of a highly participatory policy framework, the Namibia Coastal Management White Paper, which is seen as the critical element for sustainable ecosystem management of the Namibian coast.

Millet field in Ondangwa Nambia (Source: Patrizia Cocca/GEF)
Millet field in Ondangwa Nambia (Source: Patrizia Cocca/GEF)

Furthermore, this component will provide a clarification on institutional and legal mandates in relation to coastal management to support the on-going decentralization process. This clarification is particularly relevant for the future role of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Committee (ICZMC), the potential lead structure that will facilitate the mainstreaming of coastal biodiversity conservation into sectoral policies and actions.


The specific products (outputs) for Component 1 include:

  • An agreed upon formal draft definition of the coastal zone for policy and legislative purposes;
  • A publication of recommendations for proposed legal amendments;
  • A formal approval of mandates and members of an extended ICZMC;
  • Coastal Management White Paper and corresponding joint coastal zone management vision.

The specific expected outcomes for this component are:

  • Policy and legal framework relevant to coastal zone management clarified and harmonized by a prioritization process;
  • Roles and mandates of line ministries, Regional Councils (RCs) and Local Authorities (LAs) clarified with regard to conservation and sustainable use of coastal biodiversity, and definitions in place for coastal zone planning and management;
  • A collaborative vision for the conservation and sustainable use of the Namibian coast developed and used as a basis for a draft comprehensive coastal zone policy framework, the Namibia Coastal Management Green Paper and a first draft White Paper;
  • Regional coastal information available and used regularly in local and regional decision-making processes;
  • Increased budget allocations for ICZM-related issues by relevant line ministries (including from improved capture of the rent linked to the resource base).
Component 02

Targeted Capacity-Building for Coastal Zone Management and Biodiversity Conservation

This component fills the capacity gap at the local, regional and national levels in support of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, including mainstreaming of coastal biodiversity and resources into development planning and key economic activities.

By providing training for ICZM and developing Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and knowledge management systems, the component will contribute to the ongoing decentralization process as well as the development of an effective institutional framework for ICZM.

The specific products (outputs) for Component 2 include:

  • Developed skills to formalize and set-up a coastal biodiversity ecosystem monitoring mechanism linked to other sectoral and national biodiversity monitoring efforts;
  • Targeted training to RCs facilitated by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s (MET) for biodiversity mainstreaming and delegation of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use responsibilities in and outside protected areas in two out of four coastal regions through clear job descriptions of Regional Development Planners or the appointment or transfer of Environmental Officers;
  • A coastal and marine biodiversity M&E mechanism defined, agreed among the ICZMC members and fully operational;
  • A knowledge management system, as defined by Project, in place, implemented and utilized by the three main target groups.

The specific expected outcomes for this component are:

  • Capacity and resources of RCs, LAs, and Line Ministries (LM) strengthened to undertake functional and strategic coast-relevant planning and decision-making conducive to biodiversity conservation and mainstreaming planning in documents and investment decisions;
  • The ICZMC strengthened and fully operational;
  • Knowledge related to coastal biodiversity and sustainable use enhanced, including mainstreaming into development planning and coastal zone management through improved communication channels at local, regional and national levels;
  • Awareness of the importance of coastal zone resources and ICZM among stakeholders and local communities is enhanced;
  • Coastal profiles for each coastal region in place and used for regional planning, management and conservation.
Component 03

Targeted Investments in Critical Ecosystems for Biodiversity Conservation, Sustainable Use and Mainstreaming

This component will contribute to the overall framework for ICZM along the Namibian coast by using targeted investments and activities to address on-the-ground gaps in coastal biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in under- and un-protected areas of biodiversity importance (hotspots). These activities will be complemented by MET's Support to the Protected Area Network (SPAN) Project, which addresses management and sustainability issues in targeted national terrestrial parks.

Farmer tends to her vegetable garden (Source: Patrizia Cocca/GEF)
Farmer tends to her vegetable garden (Source: Patrizia Cocca/GEF)

The specific products (outputs) for Component 3 include:

  • Revised/developed Management plans for identified terrestrial and marine hotspots;
  • Conservation and sustainable use activities as proposed inside management plans for terrestrial and marine hotspots with significant importance for biodiversity conservation on the Namib coast successfully implemented;
  • New Marine Protected Areas.

The specific expected outcomes for this component are:

  • Strengthened and mainstreamed network of coastal and marine conservation areas with defined and improved management plans under implementation;
  • Enhanced biodiversity status in critical ecosystems of Namibia's coastal and marine area;
  • Enhanced co-management of conservation areas (including buffer zones) consistent with conservation and sustainable use objectives.
Component 04

Project Management and Performance Monitoring

NACOMA, through this component, will support the establishment and operationalization (through staffing, office infrastructure and Project management-related capacity building) of a Project Coordinating Office (PCO) based in Swakopmund.

The specific products for Component 4 are the project reports and work plans.

The specific impact expected is the success of the project implementation according to the Project Implementation Manual (PIM), Monitoring and Evaluation procedures and annual work plans.

Implementation of NACOMA

Steering Committee

NACOMA’s implementation is guided by a Steering Committee (SC) which builds coordination, cooperation and communication between key sectors at the national level and between national and regional governments. The Committee's key role is to monitor project implementation.

The members of the Steering Committee include:

The four coastal Regional Councils have constituted an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Committee (ICZMC) to address issues of coastal conservation, management and planning. The ICZMC serves as a high level overall supervisory and advisory body to the Project, and its membership liaises with the SC on all aspects of project implementation.

The ICZMC consists of the four Governors, the four Regional Chief Executive Officers, a councilor from each region, representatives from line ministries, several members of the national parliament that represent the four regions and 2 other members from each region that could be from Local Authorities or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).

The World Bank

The World Bank acts as the implementing agency on behalf of the GEF.

Other implementers

Policy Legal Working Group

The ICZM Policy and Legal Working Group was established to facilitate the development process for the Coastal Vision and the Namibia Coastal Management White Paper (NACOWP) from start up to final endorsement, together with the ICZMC and the SC.

This working group will direct and conduct a comprehensive policy, legal and institutional review process to generate recommendations for new or improved tools and frameworks to mainstream biodiversity conservation and management into planning and decision-making for the coastal zone. It will also be responsible for integrating these inputs with the results of consultations undertaken with relevant stakeholders and assisting in drafting the Common Coastal Vision, Green Paper, NACOWP and Plan of Action for NACOWP Implementation.

Coastal Zone Focal Points

NACOMA has established Focal Points (technical staff) at the National, Regional and Local levels to facilitate the NACOWP process on behalf of the their institutions and represent their respective institutions within the ICZMC. They will actively contribute, as representatives of the coastal stakeholders, to the development of consensus on how to implement ICZM in the Namibian context and to the coordinated development of the Vision/NACOWP in line with the White Paper process.

Other working groups

Other specific working groups will be formed as needed to support and provide advice to the project and stakeholders with regard to implementation of specific tasks. Specific working groups formed to date are:

  • Contingency Management Committee (CMC) for the Dune Belt Area between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. This committee is supporting the project as well as other stakeholders (i.e. Erongo Regional Council; Municipalities of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, Ministry of Environment and Tourism) to implement the Contingency Management Plan that controls activities in this area in order to minimise the perceived negative environmental impacts.
  • MET – MFMR technical working group on Marine Protected Areas(MPAs). This group is advising MET and MFMR on the issues related to the declaration of the Namibian off shore islands as MPA’s and the Sperrgebiet National Park; as well as issues related to the co-management of these areas.

Who we are

NACOMA’s mission is to conserve, use sustainably and mainstream the biodiversity in coastal and marine ecosystems of the Namibian Coast for future generations. Ou...

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