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Situated in the Southern part of Namibia, the Namibian Islands’ Marine Protected Area (NIMPA) spans 9,500 km², serving as a haven for a diverse marine ecosystem that includes endangered and endemic species like the African penguin and the Heaviside’s dolphin. These species not only contribute to the ocean's ecological balance but also hold immense economic and social value for coastal communities, providing sustenance, income, and drawing tourism.

Despite its ecological significance, Namibia's sole Marine Protected Area faces a multitude of threats, ranging from overfishing and illegal practices to climate change, pollution, and habitat degradation. The disconnect between society and the tangible value of marine life exacerbates these challenges, endangering the survival of species and jeopardising coastal communities' livelihoods. Recognising the urgency of the situation, GRID-Arendal collaborates with a consortium, including Namibia Nature Foundation, Blue Marine Foundation, and others, to address these threats and strengthen the management and conservation of NIMPA.

The NIMPA+ Project's overarching objective is to enhance NIMPA's management, ensuring the preservation of biodiversity and marine ecosystem services. This, in turn, aims to generate income opportunities for coastal communities while working towards the establishment of two new Marine Protected Areas at a national level.

As part of this initiative, GRID-Arendal plays a crucial role in supporting communication activities for the NIMPA+ Project and disseminating information about NIMPA. The communications team, in collaboration with technical experts, has outlined key activities:

  • Raising Awareness: The project aims to increase awareness about NIMPA and its significance among diverse target audiences, including the public and the media.

  • Education: Inform and educate the public about the project's objectives, fostering a deeper understanding of the importance of marine conservation.

  • Advocacy: Promoting project efforts through advocacy, highlighting the need for sustainable resource use and effective decision-making.

  • Mobilisation: Mobilising actions based on project successes to scale up marine conservation efforts nationally.

GRID-Arendal's role extends beyond communication support; we are actively conducting a Socio-economic, Knowledge Attitude Practices (KAP) survey. This survey aims to understand better local communities' perceptions of NIMPA and its benefits, providing valuable insights for the project.

In collaboration with esteemed partners, Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF), Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE MARINE), South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), Community Skills Development Centre (COSDEC), Namibian Foundation for the Conservation of Seabirds (NAMCOB), GRID-Arendal is committed to making a significant impact in safeguarding NIMPA and promoting sustainable marine conservation practices.

The NIMPA+ project is funded through The Blue Action Fund and supported by Oceans 5, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Shark Conservation Fund, Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) and DEBMARINE NAMDEB Foundation.

Status: In progress

Type: Marine

Programme: Marine Environment

Tags: Namibia protected areas marine Africa

Related Sustainable Development Goals

GRID-Arendal's activities support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


GRID-Arendal's activities are nearly always a cooperative undertaking made possible through collaboration with partners and donors.

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