The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification declares bush encroachment as a driver of land degradation. In Namibia the phenomenon affects more than 30 million hectares of productive rangeland. The reduction of livestock productivity is one of the major impacts of bush encroachment with direct economic losses. Restoring encroached areas by sustainably removing and utilising woody plants will result in improved grass production and enhance the grazing capacity. Targeted management of bush encroachment could provide tangible benefits at both national and regional levels.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Bush Control and Biomass project featured in the World Bank report on sustainable rangeland management guidelines in Sub-Saharan Africa. The case study emphases on the positive impacts of bush control for rangeland restoration and increased productivity. In Namibia, farmers see potential in value chain development and use the harvested bush resource for firewood, charcoal and animal feed production. Other promising value chains are being explored.
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