Bush encroachment has increased significantly in Namibia. The scale is alarming. It is estimated that more than 30 million hectares (30 per cent) of farmland are affected by bush thickening. This has negative impacts on some of Namibia’s key ecosystem services, such as livestock production, groundwater recharge and tourism, as well as biodiversity.
The GIZ Economics of Land Degradation Initiative and Support to De-bushing Project conducted two studies estimating the net benefits of bush control, compared with a scenario of no bush control. Various ecosystem services, on national and regional level, have been valued and analysed with a cost-benefit model. The potential net benefits on the national scale were estimated at N$48 billion over a 25 years period. In case of the study in the Otjozondjupa region, the net benefits were estimated at N$ 4.9 billion.
The findings of the studies clearly show that bush control can make a considerable contribution to Namibia’s welfare and economic growth in terms of employment and other social-economic benefits. Moreover, the regional case contributes greatly to the MET Land Degradation Neutrality pilot project in Otjozondjupa and complements the MLR Integrated Land Use Plans, particularly with regard to the related strategic environmental assessment (SEA).
The findings of both studies were compiled into a study and policy brief.
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