Rainbows over Wereldsend

© Gail Potgieter

 

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News, views and true stories from Namibia

 
 
Namibian rangeland.
 

Managing Namibian Rangelands in the Face of Uncertainty

Agri-Ecological Services

Namibia's dry climate with highly variable rainfall makes farming and land management a complicated business that can lead to rangeland degradation. Dr Cornelis van der Waal delivers up-to-date information based on remote sensing data for farmers, conservation managers and conservancies. This information aids adaptive management and our ability to respond to climate change.
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A huge mountain of plastic fills this local tip.
 

Is the plastic bag levy reducing single-use plastic waste in Namibia?

Gobabeb-Namib Research Institute

Little is known about the effectiveness of or public support for the plastic bag levy in Namibia. The Gobabeb - Namib Research Institute asked questions and made observations in five towns regarding plastic bag use and attitudes towards the levy. Much is still to be done to educate the public on the problem of plastic and promote viable alternatives.
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A large elephant approaches a man standing in front of a small wooden shack.
 

From Poacher’s Son to Conservation Leader – Defending Namibia’s Community Conservation Story

Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation

John Kasaona traces his own life story and the history of his people as it relates to conservation in Namibia. Given the success of these grassroots efforts, he expresses his frustration over those who criticise Namibian policies unfairly.
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An infographic showing human impact on nature, and its importance to us.
 

Placing Namibia in a Global Context

 

Several global reports on wildlife conservation have a bearing on Namibia and the broader southern African region. Siphiwe Lutibezi takes a look at the Living Planet Report and other recent global reports and applies some of the lessons learned to the Namibian situation.
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A cartoon depicting an elephant and a terrified villager balancing on a seesaw.
 

The Great Elephant Balancing Act

Namibian Chamber of Environment

Recent research on elephants emphasise the importance of male elephants in their society. This research is used as a club to batter countries in southern Africa into changing their elephant management policies. This article reviews the scientific evidence and calls for a balanced approach that considers both humans and elephants.
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A pride of lions relaxing at sunset.
 

Conserving lions in the heart of KAZA – The Kwando Carnivore Project

Namibian Chamber of Environment

The Zambezi Region is a critical landscape for conservation, but it is also a complex matrix of protected areas and community farmlands. People and lions thus frequently come into conflict here. The Kwando Carnivore Project is providing solutions for human-lion coexistence in collaboration with communal conservancies and other partners.
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Zebra at sunset.
 

Understanding and Conserving the Namibia-Botswana Zebra Migration

 

Results of a recent aerial survey in the Zambezi Region reveal that the migratory zebra population is doing well, and possibly extending their journey further north. This amazingly long migration covering Namibia and Botswana was only discovered in 2012 and researchers still have many unanswered questions.
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A newly released pangolin walks off into the sunset.
 

From Facing Certain Death to Contributing to Science – A Pangolin's Tale

Namibian Pangolin Working Group

A female pangolin was confiscated from wildlife traffickers by the Blue Rhino Task Team following a tip-off from the US Embassy in Namibia. She has now become the first satellite-tracked pangolin in Namibia. Kelsey Prediger of the Namibian Pangolin Working Group tells us her story and what it means for pangolin research and conservation.
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A rain droplet hanging from a tree is illumnated by the moon.
 

Science be Damned?

 

In light of the conspiracy theories swirling around the COVID-19 pandemic, Helge Denker asks why science - from zoonotic diseases to conservation research, amongst others - is often doubted while hoaxes are so easily believed. Are we victims of the Dunning-Kruger effect, treating correlation as causation, or just biased for one reason or another?
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A western barred spitting cobra, also known as a Zebra Snake.
 

Snakes in the City – the Windhoek Experience

Snakes of Namibia

Human-snake encounters can be dangerous for both parties, unless one calls professional snake removers. Francois Theart, the founder of Snakes of Namibia, tells us that his work is about more than just removing snakes from residential areas in Windhoek – he wants to find out what is driving human-snake conflict in the city and how to reduce it in the long-term. He shares the results of the first study of snake removals in the city in collaboration with the NUST Biodiversity Research Centre.
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A group of Namibian children listen to their guide.
 

Children from Communal Conservancies learn how to become Young Defenders of their environment

Namibian Chamber of Environment

Children from two communal conservancies were treated to a free four-day course in conservation and Leave No Trace, made possible through by the Conservation Travel Foundation and Namibian Chamber of Environment. Tracking rhinos, elephants and other wildlife on-foot while learning about caring for their environment.
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A Himba lady working in the bush.
 

Communal Conservancies Cry for Help to Survive Coronavirus Perfect Storm

Namibian Chamber of Environment

The coronavirus has created a perfect storm for communal conservancies in Namibia. Researchers reached out to people in five conservancies to find out what their greatest challenges were during the recent lockdown. Numerous stakeholders have since joined hands to help the conservancies weather the storm.
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A team of reseachers capturing a giraffe.
 

Namibia's Biodiversity Research Centre - Using Applied Research to Support Conservation Decision-making

Namibia University of Science and Technology

Prof. Morgan Hauptfleisch tells us about the NUST Biodiversity Research Centre that produces quality trans-disciplinary research to support data-driven decision-making for wildlife management and conservation through their postgraduate research programme.
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Map of the SCIONA project area.
 

Conserving the Skeleton Coast and Iona Trans-frontier Conservation Area

Namibia University of Science and Technology

Namibia and Angola have created a Trans-frontier Conservation Area linking the Skeleton Coast and Iona National Parks. A team from Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) are working with their Angolan counterparts to better understand this ecosystem and pave the way for future conservation initiatives that include local communities as key stakeholders.
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Two elephants spar with each-other.
 

The Battle for the Soul of Conservation - And what it means for Namibia

Namibian Chamber of Environment

Two groups of conservation scientists are doing battle over the soul of conservation. Should we manage wildlife based on our feelings about animals or the need for pragmatic solutions to real-world problems? Answering this question has ramifications for conservation practice globally and in Namibia.
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Namibian succulents.
 

Succulent Bio-Economy Project

NUST Biodiversity Research Centre

Researchers are investigating the agricultural production potential of succulent plants as part of a future Namibian bio-economy that will diversify farming activities and prepare for the effects of climate change.
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Three Namibian game rangers standing facing the camera.
 

The Coronavirus and Namibian Conservation

Namibian Chamber of Environment

Conservation efforts in Namibia has carried on despite the coronavirus epidemic, but the conservation partners face a stern test in the coming months and years due to reduced income from international tourism. Here is what you can do to help.
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Two vultures at a waterhole.
 

What you can do to help vulture research

Namibian Chamber of Environment

A new study on Lappet-faced Vultures in Namibia uses camera traps and sighting records from the public to show a high survival rate for a vulture population in the Namib-Naukluft.
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A conservancy game guard patrols on horseback.
 

Introducing Community Conservation Namibia.com

Namibian Chamber of Environment

Information about communal conservancies in Namibia is now more accessible than ever. Gail Thomson takes a brief tour of the new community conservation website to whet your appetite for exploring the site for yourself.
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A Namibian black rhino.
 

Opinion



By Chris Brown

15th November 2019

Using Namibia’s Wildlife to Drive a Green Economy

Namibian Chamber of Environment

The Namibian wildlife economy has grown due to conservation policies that devolve ownership rights of wildlife to the people living on the land. There nonetheless remains room for further growth in the sector that will benefit both people and wildlife.
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