The Kunene Conservancies Indigenous Natural Products Trust (KCINP Trust) was founded in 2012 and is registered in Namibia as such with the Master of the High Court. The Kunene Conservancy Indigenous Natural Products Trust are the legal owners of the Scents of Namibia brand, the Opuwo Processing Facility where the essential oils are produced and the visitors centre.
The KCINP Trust has seven Trustees which include representatives from five conservancies and community forests in the Kunene region namely Puros, Orupembe, Sanitatas, Marienfluss and Okondjombo and an additional two Trustees. The KCINP Trust has three key objectives:
- The upliftment and benefit sharing of the Kunene conservancies and community forests which market their natural resource products for the benefit of their members
- To provide an entity to represent the participating conservancies in entering into agreements concerning the supply of natural products for value addition and further marketing
- To provide an entity in which the participating conservancies and community forests jointly store, process, sell and market any natural products, and to jointly administer the activities of the natural products business of the participating conservancies and community forests
Trustees are elected at conservancy / community forest level and serve on the Board of Trustees for a period of five years and may not serve for more than two terms.
The development of the Opuwo Processing facility has been supported by Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) which seeks to develop the sustainable commercialisation of various indigenous natural products especially the endemic aromatic plants in the Kunene Region of Namibia. People living in this area are semi-nomadic pastoralists dependent on subsistence livestock farming. They are therefore vulnerable to drought conditions and environmental change. Income derived from the sale of plant material and products provides a very important source of supplementary income that makes a significant contribution to improving their livelihoods.
Product identification, resource inventories, the establishment of the Opuwo Processing Facility and Visitors centre, setting up the revolving fund and other technical support have been generously funded by many donors and individuals including, WWF in Namibia and WWF United Kingdom, Big Lottery, ICEMA, MCA Namibia, FAO, People and Plants, GIZ, Anders Johansson and Stefan Encratz.
Conservancies and community forests that harvest indigenous natural product resources in North-western Namibia (Kunene region)
All resources are individually harvested from registered members of conservancies located in community forests around the north-western area of Namibia. Commiphora wildii resin is harvested from October through November, while Colophospermum mopane seeds are harvested from June through October. No damage is done to the plants during harvesting, making the production of oils sustainable.