Bush thinning could accrue net benefits, economic valuation studies predicts

Bush thinning could accrue net benefits, economic valuation studies predicts

A study by the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) on the Economics of Land Degradation in relation to bush encroachment in Namibia found that bush control and biomass utilisation has the potential to generate substantial net benefits of around N$ 48 billion over 25 years. This is based on various assumptions that 60% (15.8 million ha) of the estimated 30 million ha of bush-encroached land will be targeted for bush thinning, bush density be reduced by 67% starting with 5% per annum. These benefits will accrue for underground water, livestock production, value chains such as charcoal, firewood and electricity generation as well as carbon offsets for electricity. The first round of bush thinning will be carried out over 20 years with the effects captured over 25 years for aftercare and regrowth management.

At a recently held workshop by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Land Reform and GIZ on Land Degradation Neutrality (a global target for sustainable land management part of Sustainable Development Goal 15.3), an assessment of land degradation identified Otjozondjupa region as one of the 7 land degradation “hotspots” in Namibia. Bush encroachment is a prevalent form of land degradation in Otjozondjupa.  Cost-benefit analyses on option for bush thinning encroached areas in Otjozondjupa suggests that N$ 4.9 billion could be generated over 25 years and accrue net benefits for ecosystem services, industry and households.

An implementation plan for the LDN targets is being formulated and possibly integrated in Integrated Regional Land Use Plans (IRLUP) championed by the Sustainable Land Management Committee.

Read the full Economic Valuation report here.

Download the LDN National report here to learn more.

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