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Atlas of Namibia: A Portrait of the Land and its People

Authors:
  • RAISON, Windhoek, Namibia
  • JARO Consultancy: http://www.jaroconsultancy.com
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... Poor soils combined with low and unpredictable rainfall (50-600 mm per annum) increasing on a southwestnortheast gradient, renders much of the country ill-suited to growing crops (Thuiller et al., 2006). Namibia is sparsely populated by 2.49 million people (The World Bank, 2016) at an average density of 3 per km 2 , with the majority of the rural population living in the northern regions with higher rainfall and more productive soils (Mendelsohn et al., 2002). Elevation varies markedly from sea level in the west to the escarped plateau (900-1300 m) of the central, eastern, and northern regions. ...
... Over half (58%) of Namibian cattle are found in northern communal areas (particularly in the Cuvelai System, along parts of the Okavango River and the eastern Zambezi Floodplains), where densities may exceed 10 per km 2 . Goat densities are also high (>20 per km 2 ) in these areas, and together with cattle have caused extensive overgrazing (Mendelsohn et al., 2002). Large carnivore diversity-including lion (Panthera leo), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), leopard (Panthera pardus), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea), and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)-is highest in the central and north-eastern regions (Barnard, 1998) while large herbivore diversity-including African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), and African buffalo (Syncerus caffer)-is lowest in the far west and south, as well as near densely populated areas throughout Namibia (Mendelsohn et al., 2002). ...
... Goat densities are also high (>20 per km 2 ) in these areas, and together with cattle have caused extensive overgrazing (Mendelsohn et al., 2002). Large carnivore diversity-including lion (Panthera leo), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), leopard (Panthera pardus), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea), and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)-is highest in the central and north-eastern regions (Barnard, 1998) while large herbivore diversity-including African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), and African buffalo (Syncerus caffer)-is lowest in the far west and south, as well as near densely populated areas throughout Namibia (Mendelsohn et al., 2002). ...
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Farmers in developing countries often work in challenging environments with poor infrastructure, marginal agricultural potential, and limited economic opportunities. These challenges are exacerbated when wildlife impact human livelihoods. Here, we analyze data quantifying the type and frequency of human‐wildlife impacts within communal conservancies across Namibia and explore possible drivers of temporal and spatial variation of these data. A total of 112,165 human‐wildlife impacts were reported between 2001 and 2019 at the national level, with livestock depredation the most common. Marked regional variation was however evident with crop raiding and attacks on humans more prevalent in the mesic North‐East, and both livestock depredation and infrastructure damage highest in the arid north‐western regions. Elephant, jackal, hyena, cheetah, and leopard (in descending order) were the species most frequently linked to reported damage. Distance to the nearest protected area and river, terrain ruggedness, conservancy size, and annual rainfall (amongst others) all had a significant impact on both the distribution and extent of human‐wildlife impact reports. Reports did not vary significantly with years but were significantly influenced by average monthly rainfall. Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of human‐wildlife impacts at a national scale, in addition to their potential drivers, allows for the identification of conflict hotspots and the allocation of resources and expertise to mitigate them. Ultimately, mitigating negative interactions between people and wildlife will allow for the continued sharing of space and with that the sustainability of a model that has seen a dramatic increase in both the distribution and abundance of wildlife in Namibia.
... The location of the studied water reuse system is in the town of Outapi in central northern Namibia (Figure 1). Because of its arid climate, Namibia has no permanently water-bearing rivers except for its border rivers in the south (Oranje) and north (Kunene, Okavango, Linyanti and Zambesi) [45]. Central northern Namibia is characterised by the Etosha pan, a drainless pan measuring 120 × 50 km. ...
... The lack of freshwater resources has an impact on the water supply, especially during dry seasons, which is why there is a risk of excessive utilisation. This process is worsening by population growth and livestock farming, which have traditionally played a major role in Namibia [45,49]. Between 1970 and1990 in particular, the population in Namibia more than doubled. ...
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With regard to water supply constraints, water reuse has already become an indispensable water resource. In many regions of southern Africa, so-called waste stabilisation ponds (WSP) represent a widespread method of sewage disposal. Since capacity bottlenecks lead to overflowing ponds and contamination, a concept was designed and piloted in order to upgrade a plant and reuse water in agriculture. Using a social–ecological impact assessment (SEIA), the aim of this study was to identify and evaluate intended and unintended impacts of the upgrading of an existing WSP to reuse water for livestock fodder production. For this purpose, semistructured expert interviews were conducted. In addition, a scenario analysis was carried out regarding a sustainable operation of the water reuse system. The evaluation of the impacts has shown that intended positive impacts clearly outweigh the unintended ones. The scenario analysis revealed the consequences of an inadequate management of the system and low fodder demand. Furthermore, the analysis showed that good management of such a system is of fundamental importance in order to operate the facility, protect nature and assist people. This allows subsequent studies to minimize negative impacts and replicate the concept in regions with similar conditions.
... Two main river systems run through the city (Gammans and Arrebusch) and collect the seasonal storm water from the surrounding hills into three city dams. Despite the ephemeral nature of the river network, riverbeds have the potential to foster NbS, supporting most of the city's greenery and hosting perennial trees, bushes and grasses adapted to arid conditions (e.g., acacia trees, trumpet thorn trees, dwarf shrub species) (Mendelsohn et al., 2002), (Fig. 17.1). ...
... VSC OC concentrations in rangeland and cropland of our study were generally higher than in other studies (e.g., Lobe et al. 2002;Bahri et al., 2006). Farming in KAZA is mostly done by subsistence agriculture on small fields with sorghum, maize, or pearl millet (Mendelsohn, 2003;Kiesel et al., 2022), which are often left bare after harvest or which are having only little crop residues (Simon, 2019). This gets reflected in lower C levels in cropland compared to rangeland, but is interestingly not reflected in VSC OC contents, where we found similar values in rangeand cropland (Fig. 3). ...
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Nature conservation is currently shaping many terrestrial ecosystems in Africa. This is particularly evident in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where conservation is intended to recover wildlife populations, with special focus on elephants. Rising numbers of elephants induce woody biomass losses but increase soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks from decaying wood and dung. We hypothesized that these increases under wildlife conservation in SSA go along with rising contents of plant residues in SOC, traceable by the molecular markers lignin and n-alkanes. In contrast, agricultural intensification would reduce them due to lower C input and faster SOC turnover through tillage. To test this, we analyzed lignin by the CuO oxidation method and n-alkanes by fast pressurized solvent extraction in topsoils (0-10 cm) of Arenosols and corresponding plant samples (trees, grasses and crops). Sampling sites followed conservation gradients with low, medium and high elephant densities and intensification gradients with rangeland and cropland in the woodland savanna of the Namibian Zambezi Region. Patterns of lignin-derived phenols were retained in the soil, whereas n-alkanes showed shifts in chain lengths. n-Alkanes also showed no clear increase or decrease under conservation or intensification, respectively. Differently, lignin-derived phenols showed lower values under intensification than under conservation. Confirming our hypothesis , rising SOC contents with rising elephant densities (from 4.4 at low to 5.7 g kg 1 SOC at high elephant densities) went along with an increasing accumulation of lignin-derived phenols (24.4-34.8 g kg 1 VSC OC). This increase is associated with the input of woody debris to the soil, as indicated by V-units and carbon isotopes, modulated by clay and woody biomass. We conclude, that increasing input of woody residues into soil by browsing behaviour of elephants is an important mechanism for controlling SOC supply in the context of wildlife conservation and is traceable with lignin-derived phenols, but not with n-alkanes.
... Two main river systems run through the city (Gammans and Arrebusch) and collect the seasonal storm water from the surrounding hills into three city dams. Despite the ephemeral nature of the river network, riverbeds have the potential to foster NbS, supporting most of the city's greenery and hosting perennial trees, bushes and grasses adapted to arid conditions (e.g., acacia trees, trumpet thorn trees, dwarf shrub species) (Mendelsohn et al., 2002), (Fig. 17.1). ...
... Two main river systems run through the city (Gammans and Arrebusch) and collect the seasonal storm water from the surrounding hills into three city dams. Despite the ephemeral nature of the river network, riverbeds have the potential to foster NbS, supporting most of the city's greenery and hosting perennial trees, bushes and grasses adapted to arid conditions (e.g., acacia trees, trumpet thorn trees, dwarf shrub species) (Mendelsohn et al., 2002), (Fig. 17.1). ...
Chapter
Significance Statement The Peruvian Upwelling ecosystem is highly productive. El Niño variability affects species abundance and distribution, and thus marine activities. Climate change is modifying El Niño patterns, compromising the strategies of marine organisms and human activities to cope with its variability. We focus on three marine social-ecological systems to identify weaknesses and leverage points for adaptation and resilience. We find that (1) the Peruvian artisanal fishery and aquaculture sectors urgently need an institutional framework for adaptation to future environmental changes; (2) bottom-up adaptation strategies require institutional support, tailored to socio-ecological specificities; and (3) additional research on socio-ecological tipping points and their effects for human-nature interactions and societal repercussions is necessary. These finding may be useful in other systems undergoing similar challenges.
... Two main river systems run through the city (Gammans and Arrebusch) and collect the seasonal storm water from the surrounding hills into three city dams. Despite the ephemeral nature of the river network, riverbeds have the potential to foster NbS, supporting most of the city's greenery and hosting perennial trees, bushes and grasses adapted to arid conditions (e.g., acacia trees, trumpet thorn trees, dwarf shrub species) (Mendelsohn et al., 2002), (Fig. 17.1). ...
Chapter
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Significance Statement A Multi-Use Platform can integrate different maritime activities into a single sea area. We propose an analytical framework to investigate the socio-ecological benefits and impacts of potential Multi-Use Platforms designs in the Mediterranean and North Sea. The framework uses a marine ecosystem services matrix that has the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing on the ecosystem goods and services a Multi-Use Platform can potentially support and interact with. The results highlight that Multi-Use Platforms provide multiple opportunities for energy generation, food provisioning (e.g. recreational fishing, extractive aquaculture) and cultural services (e.g. coastal recreation, diving, research and monitoring). Further research suggests application of quantitative socio-ecological analysis techniques to measure potential synergies and trade-offs among the multiple activities of the platform.
... Two main river systems run through the city (Gammans and Arrebusch) and collect the seasonal storm water from the surrounding hills into three city dams. Despite the ephemeral nature of the river network, riverbeds have the potential to foster NbS, supporting most of the city's greenery and hosting perennial trees, bushes and grasses adapted to arid conditions (e.g., acacia trees, trumpet thorn trees, dwarf shrub species) (Mendelsohn et al., 2002), (Fig. 17.1). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Significance Statement Cities in sub-Saharan countries are simultaneously facing climate change, rapid urbanisation, and social inequalities. Nature-based Solutions harness nature’s benefits to address these environmental, social, and economic challenges. In this study, we investigate how taking into account temporal dynamics and multiple values of nature helps to implement better Nature-based Solutions. Through satellite images and interviews with practitioners and residents, we look at how green spaces and dry riverbeds are distributed, managed, and perceived in the capital city of Namibia, south-western Africa. We find that apartheid spatial segregation legacies persist through the unequal distribution of urban green spaces, and that, although their current management limits their capacity to deliver benefits, riverbeds have the potential to support sustainable development and climate change adaptation.
... Two main river systems run through the city (Gammans and Arrebusch) and collect the seasonal storm water from the surrounding hills into three city dams. Despite the ephemeral nature of the river network, riverbeds have the potential to foster NbS, supporting most of the city's greenery and hosting perennial trees, bushes and grasses adapted to arid conditions (e.g., acacia trees, trumpet thorn trees, dwarf shrub species) (Mendelsohn et al., 2002), (Fig. 17.1). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Significance Statement In a rapidly urbanizing world, urban wilderness areas offer unique opportunities to connect with raw nature. After examining social demand for urban wilderness in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, we found that high levels of naturalness positively influence visitors’ use and perception of natural areas. Age and youth experiences with nature were the most significant, positive correlates with perception of wildlife. Regardless of race/ethnicity, income, and education, visitors recognized the importance of wildlife in urban wilderness. Overall, this study found that social demand for urban wilderness is a multi-dimensional balance between natural amenities and cultural conveniences. This knowledge is useful to city planners to properly plan and protect the natural areas within urban environments.
... Two main river systems run through the city (Gammans and Arrebusch) and collect the seasonal storm water from the surrounding hills into three city dams. Despite the ephemeral nature of the river network, riverbeds have the potential to foster NbS, supporting most of the city's greenery and hosting perennial trees, bushes and grasses adapted to arid conditions (e.g., acacia trees, trumpet thorn trees, dwarf shrub species) (Mendelsohn et al., 2002), (Fig. 17.1). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Significance Statement The structure of the city and related composition and configuration of green infrastructure (GI) translate into supply and distribution of ecosystem services (ES). Therefore, we aimed to recognize the social perception of ES at the background of the spatial structure (from the dense centre to the rural-like suburbs) based on a case study of Poznań city in Poland. The findings revealed that although distribution and types of GI vary among main urban zones, inhabitants appreciate the cultural ES of GI regardless of its type or location. They expressed the demand for enhancement of recreational ES and the importance of accessibility to the green spaces. The study also emphasised the complex trade-offs between cultural and regulating ES highlighting the role of ES-oriented planning.
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