A group of researchers and students guided by Professor Klaus Kellner from the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa recently visited Namibia on an excursion to explore synergies on bush control projects, with academic institutions and relevant industry stakeholders. The group met up with the De-bushing Advisory Service and presented the Bush Expert system. This system aims to assess and evaluate bush control and restoration practices through well documented case studies. N-BiG joined the group on a field visit to sites of CCF (Cheetah Conservation Fund), Bospro and OBI operations.
The system has two components, of which one component is geared towards bush control and restoration projects in South Africa monitored through the so-called “BUSHMON”. The second component aims at updating the Eco Restore, a decision support system for the restoration of degraded rangelands in Namibia done some 14 years ago. The University is working towards collaboration with other institutions to expand the BUSHMON and Eco Restore systems for the second phase of the project, integrate Namibian cases and advance features for monitoring such as time series mapping. The information on bush control cases is available and can be used for different management purposes and importantly to revisit the farms addressed in these case studies.
The information includes farm locations, pictures on vegetation state, bush control method used with information on soil characteristics and the bush specie controlled. Such cases can be used in decision making processes along with the Decision Support System . The Decision Support System presents practical ways to address bush encroachment.
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