Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (Namibia)

In the early hours of this morning, IRDNC’s co-founder Garth Owen-Smith passed away with his partner Margie Jacobsohn by his side. Garth dedicated his adult life to doing conservation in a way that respects and honours the rights of the people who live with wildlife. He made immense personal sacrifices to follow his ideals and held fast to his dream that wildlife would thrive and benefit Namibia’s people. Thanks to his tireless efforts, along with other Namibian conservation heroes, the people of his beloved Kunene and Zambezi Regions, and elsewhere in Namibia, have made immense conservation gains and secured rights that would have been considered impossible some decades ago. It is impossible to measure the immense contribution that Garth has made to conservation in Namibia, and to challenging mindsets globally so that today CBNRM is considered the right way to do conservation. We honour a conservation legend and a friend. Our thoughts are with Margie, and also with Garth’s sons Tuareg and Kyle, and grandson Garth, who could not be with him due to current travel restrictions. We also think of the many Namibian conservation field workers and leaders who were shaped and mentored by Garth over many decades, who have also lost a father today.