IRNDC Directors
John Kasaona
John Kasaona
Executive Director
John has worked for IRDNC for 21 years. He holds a National Diploma in Nature Conservation.
Willie Boonzaaier
Willie Boonzaaier
Programme Director
Willie holds a MBA in Project Management and has more than 35-years’ experience in community-based natural resource management and ecotourism... Read more
...development throughout southern Africa and abroad. As a consultant, he has been actively involved in the development of Namibia's ecotourism network for the benefit of conservancies and rural communities. Hide
IRDNC is governed by a board of trustees who are appointed for a two year period, and re-appointed every two years. IRDNC’s board of trustees comprise:
Adv. Andrew Corbett, IRDNC Board Chairperson, was the Director of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) from 1992 – 1999. The LAC carries out innovative legal work in the areas of human rights, land and environment, HIV/AIDS and labour reform. In addition to his current professional role as advocate, Adv. Corbett also holds a number of other board positions, including that of board member of the Namibia Nature Foundation and has served as an Acting Judge of the High Court of Namibia.
Leonard le Roux served as the Executive Director of the Rossing Foundation for two decades. He is currently a Senior Director of the Synergos Institute. At Synergos, Len spearheads the African Public Health Leadership and Systems Innovation Initiative, which is creating a replicable model for improving public health leadership and systems performance, beginning in Namibia
Clara Bohitile was a member of the National Assembly from 1995-2005 and again from 2007 - 2010. She also served as the Deputy Minister of Basic Education and Culture from 1995-2005. She is known in parliament for her contributions to rural development, adult education and basic education for the marginalised. Ms Bohitile is a member of the SWAPO Central Committee. She is also an aspiring commercial farmer, and was named as the Emerging Farmer of the Year for 2006 by the Namibian Agricultural Union. In September 2010, she made history when she was the first woman ever elected to chair the board of the Namibian Meat Corporation.
Garth Owen-Smith is an internationally known Namibian conservationist, and was a founding co-director of IRDNC and board member since 2000. He resigned from his co-directorship in 2010. Since the 1960s, when Garth started working in the Kunene Region, he has been striving to assist rural communities to link social and economic development to the conservation of the region’s wildlife and other natural resources. His work has contributed directly to the revival of wildlife populations and to communities earning significant income through natural resource enterprises. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1993, jointly with Dr Margaret Jacobsohn, for their efforts on conservation of wildlife in Namibia. In 2010, Mr Owen-Smith published An Arid Eden: A history of conservation in Namibia’s north-west and he continues to work in CBNRM as well as lead specialist conservation expeditions. Garth Owen-Smith was awarded the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa from the Tusk Trust in 2015 in recognition of his lifetime contribution alongside Dr. Margaret Jacobsohn to the restoration and conservation of wildlife in Namibia.
Dr Margaret Jacobsohn was a founding co-director of IRDNC and board member since 2000. She resigned from her co-directorship in 2010. Dr Jacobsohn is an anthropologist, journalist and community-conservation pioneer whose doctoral research in anthropology and archaeology brought her to Namibia’s Kunene Region in the 1980s. Together with Mr Garth Owen-Smith, she pioneered efforts to increase the ownership and control of rural communities over their natural resources, which led to the establishment of IRDNC. She is a published author and has written numerous articles and texts on the Himba and on community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). Dr. Jacobsohn and Garth Owen-Smith currently oversee a trailblazing community-based tourism company; Conservancy Safaris Namibia, that is jointly owned by five Kunene conservancies.
John K. Kasaona, IRDNC Excecutive Director, and Willie Boonzaaier, the Programme Director, are also board members.
Kunene Senior Team
Basilia Shivute
Basilia Shivute
Operations Manager
Basilia joined IRDNC over a year ago. She holds an MSc in Biodiversity Management and Research. She has 10 years experience in sustainable... Read more
...tourism and environmental consulting. She provides management, technical, and coordination support to NRM, ED and IS field teams. Hide
Roger Collinson
Roger Collinson
Technical Advisor
Roger has 39 years of experience in the innovative planning, management and development of many renowned game ranches, game reserves... Read more
...and national parks and CBNRM projects in southern Africa – including South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Madagascar and Lesotho. This experience has been gained as both ‘hands on’ manager and ‘arms length’ advisor involving a wide range of clients in the private sector, government and NGOs and Community Based Organisations. This experience also covers a wide range of topics including ecosystem management, ecological research and monitoring, ecotourism, wildlife utilization, reserve infrastructure, staff development, financial sustainability, CBNRM and Community Based Tourism joint ventures. Roger has an MSc from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal) and has been with IRDNC for a year. Hide
Dave Kangombe
Dave Kangombe
Senior Facilitator
Dave has worked for IRDNC for 11 years and heads the HRM team.
Karen Nott
Karen Nott
Karen holds an MSc in Agriculture and
has 30 years experience in education, nature conservation and CBNRM. She
has been with IRDNC for... Read more
...15 years and is currently the Coordinator for High Value Plant programs. Hide
Titus Rungundo
Titus Rungundo
Senior Facilitator
Titus has worked for IRDNC for 3 years and is the head of the Enterprise Development team.
Lina Kaisuma
Lina Kaisuma
Senior Facilitator
Lina heads the Institutional Support
team and has worked for IRDNC for
19 years.
Russell Vingevoldt
Russell Vingevoldt
Russell has been with IRDNC for 4 years. He has More than 18 years of conservation experience, including Yes 12 years with the... Read more
...Ministry of Environment and Tourism ending and a further 12 years in tourism, including an eco-friendly operation fully owned by conservancies. Hide
Eben Tjiho
Eben Tjiho
Senior Facilitator
Eben is the head of the Natural
Resource Management team. He has worked for IRDNC for 9 years.
Zambezi Senior Team
Janet Matota
Janet Matota
Assistant Director
Janet has worked for IRDNC for 21 years. She was first employed as a Community Resource Monitor and is now leading the Zambezi team.
Alfred Tchadau
Alfred Tchadau
Senior Facilitator
Alfred has worked with IRDNC for 23 years. His passion is improving natural resource management and governance
in the Bwabwata... Read more
...National Park where he has lived his entire life. Hide
Dominic Muema
Dominic Muema
Operations Manager
Dominic holds a BSC in Wildlife Management and has worked in Thailand, Kenya and other parts of Namibia on natural resource management. Read more
He joined the team 6 years ago and is now the Operations Manager. Hide
John Kamwi
John Kamwi
Trans-Boundary Coordinator
John has worked for IRDNC for 15 years. He holds a Diploma in Theology and is now heading up the Trans-Boundary team.
Justice Muhinda
Justice Muhinda
Institutional Support Coordinator
Justice joined the IRDNC team 8 years ago. He has a Diploma in Business Administration and is currently the Institutional support coordinator.
Reuben Mafati
Reuben Mafati
Enterprise Development Coordinator
Reuben has been a part of IRDNC for 15 years. He holds a Diploma in Environmental Management and is currently pursuing... Read more
...a Diploma in Marketing. He coordinates the Enterprise Development team. Hide
Friedrich Alpers
Friedrich Alpers
Coordinator IRDNC Bwabwata
Friedrich holds MSc in Forest and Its Relation to Land Use and has worked in Tanzania, England and other parts of Namibia on Holistic Natural... Read more
...resource Management, Traditional Knowledge and Outreach Environmental Education. He has been with IRDNC for 11 years. Hide
James Maiba
James Maiba
James has worked for IRDNC for 17
years. He worked his way up from a
junior staff member in the NRM team
to playing a lead role in... Read more
...overseeing implementation of local monitoring systems. Hide
Julia Nchindo
Julia Nchindo
Julia has 14 years work experience and on-the-job training with IRDNC in project management. Read more
For 4 years, Julia was mentored by an HR specialist and then by an experienced project administrator. Hide
Windhoek Team
Marietta Potgieter
Marietta Potgieter
Finance Manager
Marietta has been a part of the IRDNC Finance team for 9 years. She has over two decades of experience running and independent accounting firm.
Winette Jansen
Winette Jansen
Accountant/HR & Payroll Administrator
Winette has worked for IRDNC for 5 years. She previously ran a private book-keeping business.
Other Staff


Fares Kangombe, Facilitator
Montjinduiko Kapika, Facilitator
Kavari Kasaona, Camp Assistant
Sokoi Kasaona, Facilitator
Pehi Kozohura, Field Officer
Alfeus Ouseb, Field Officer
John Steenkamp, Field Officer
Wandi Tsanes, Field Officer
Albertus Uraravi, Facilitator
Diana Virere, Office Assistant
Muhaamberua Virere, Facilitator

Windhoek Administrative Support

Ester Abdallah, Bookkeeper
Selma Iipinge, Bookkeeper
Pelachia Kandjiriomuini, Office assistant
Agnes Tsamases, Cleaner


Renee Sinden, Advisor
Juliety Mainga, Cleaner
Charles Mwangu, Caretaker
Patricia Nchindo, Field Officer
Bennety Busihu, Facilitator
Obicious Siyanga, Field Officer
Benson Kupinga, Field Officer
Evans Sikumba, Field Assistant
IRDNC Honor Roll
Our achievements today are only possible thanks to the hard work of many
staff members over the years who will always remain a part of the IRDNC family.
Abrosius !Awarab
Polo !Awarab
Samson Amoro
Johannes Andreas
Robin Beatty
Beauty Buiswalelo
Hastings Bushebe
Charles Cadman
Anna Davis
Richard Diggle
Candy Diggle
Oena Dihaku
Anton Esterhuisen
Wanda Esterhuisen
Fransina Frans
Richard Fryer
Bennie Ganuseb
John Gawusab
Jack Goawagoe
Lynn Halstead
Foibe Haludilu
Action Hambo
Sonia Hambo
Tim Holmes
Rosie Holmes
Allan Homella
Angela Howells
Aino Humphrey
Ed Humphrey
Elna Irish
Manias Ishime
Margie Jacobsohn
Ronnie Johannes
Charles Kachele
Jeremy Kaiko
Betornikel Kwala
Rikondjerua Mutambo
Averusch Cloete
Elbe Becker
Lieb Kamba
Blacky Kanjimi
Etosha Karutjaiva
Lucky Kasaona
Kavangere Kasaona
Kavenako Kavenako Tjavara
Petra Compion
Ester Kutazo
Nadja le Roux
Lameck Limbo
Jones Lubinda
Ronnie Mahindi
Mary Makutela
Jose Manuel
Henry Mapanka
Cedric Mapanka
John Marembo
Simon Masene
Shebby Mate
Simon Mayes
Pamela McGrath
Mbeutjiua Muhuka
Linus Mukwata
Michael Mumbalu
Lucas Munembo
Carol Murphy
Markfaren Mushabati
Rena Mushavanga
Mavis Musole
Lister Mutabelezi
Maurice Muyatwa
Antonia Muzuma
Elvis Mwilima
Luscan Naha
Bonifasius Nanongo
Christiaan Bakkes
Beaven Munali
Beverly Katjatako
Uamunamundu Tjiwarao
Simone Nawa
Clive Ndozi
Daisy Nehta
Colin Nott
Nathaniel Nuulimba
John Odeke
Nils Odendaal
Garth Owen-Smith
Asie Rea
Matthew Rice
Hilary Roman
Bennie Roman
Harry Sauzuo
Bernard Sezuni
Katy Sharpe
Danica Shaw
Neil Shaw
Loveness Shiita
Johannes Shipopyeni
Calvin Shozi
David Sikabonga
Ferdinand Sinjabata
Joyce Sitapata
Annie Symonds
Ephraim Taniseb
Theunis Tjiposa
Rudolph Tjaveondja
Benson Tjivinda
Thumbee Tjorora
Peggy Tutalife
Asser Ujaha
Katharina von Rohr
Greame Wilson
Franziska Woellert
Scott Richmond
Phillemon Mwaala

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