Protected Areas


Areas Protected

- 313,534 km2 Land
- 9,646 km2 Ocean

Terrestrial and Inland Water



Area protected, as per WDPA

Area protected, as per country reports

Coastal and Marine Coverage


Not found

Area protected, as per WDPA

Area protected, as per country reports


Key species

While Namibia has generally had a relatively lower number of species compared to those countries with wetter climates, it does have a high level of endemism, particularly among plants, invertebrates, reptiles and frogs. Namibia is home to 50 species of amphibians (12 endemic), 618 species of arachnids (11 endemic), 592 species of birds (2 endemic), 114 species of fish (8 endemic), over 6,400 species of insects (24 endemic), 229 species of mammals (7 endemic), more than 4,000 species of plants (14 endemic), and 254 species of reptiles (28 endemic).

Pressures and Threats

The main threats to biodiversity in Namibia are: unsustainable water use (large scale irrigation, pollution, damming and over-abstraction of ground water); impacts of climate change (increased drought and flood events, shifts in species distribution, and impacts on vulnerable ecosystems); extractive industries (expansion of mining and prospecting in ecologically sensitive areas); unsustainable land management (soil erosion, land degradation, deforestation and bush encroachment); alien invasive species; illegal harvesting and trade of wildlife and plant resources; human-wildlife conflict; and uncontrolled bush fires.

To protect its rich biodiversity, Namibia has established a system of 21 state-managed protected areas with the goal of protecting and conserving biological diversity, and also generating much needed revenue through tourism. These protected areas are being complemented by strong Community-Based Natural Resource Management through communal conservancies. Impressively, the entire coastline of Namibia is protected. Namibia has a rich marine ecosystem, as a result of the Benguela upwelling system, which brings the nutrient rich waters from around 200–300 m depth and fuels high rates of phytoplankton growth, making it one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world.

Protected and conserved areas designated as global sites of importance

Global designation

Number of sites

UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves


UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Natural or Mixed)


Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites)


 Source ((Ramsar, 2019; UNESCO, 2019a, 2019b)


Priority areas for conservation


Number of sites

Alliance for Zero Extinction sites


Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas


Key Biodiversity Areas


 (AZE Secretariat, 2019; BirdLife International, 2019c, 2019a)

Regional Reference Information System Namibia

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