At Independence in 1990, the new Government of the Republic of Namibia recognized the importance of the environment, by including the protection of natural resources in the Constitution. Namibia has one of the few constitutions in the world with specific provisions aimed at safeguarding the environment. Furthermore, Namibia is one of the few countries that has linked issues of environmental protection to tourism development.
Namibia has achieved significant Conservation successes and now has the largest population of Black Rhinoceros in Africa, the only significant population of this species outside protected areas, expanding lion and giraffe populations outside protected areas and an elephant population that has increased from 7000 to 23000 in around 20 years. In addition the Ministry through establishment of community conservancies under the auspices of the Community Based Natural Resource Programme benefits rural communities through infrastructure development, employment creation and income. Furthermore through conservation of bio-diversity tourists from across the globe are attracted to Namibia's beautiful landscapes, contributing significantly to economic growth of the country. In light with this, the Ministry encourages active participation of all stakeholders including the general public in order to realize the full potential of the sector and its benefits.