Rangeland Monitoring Project

Project Details

European Union (EU) funded project under the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, including Energy programme.

 

Project Duration - January 2015 to December 2017

Implementation - Partnership between Agra Limited and Agri-Ecological Services

Geographical Coverage - Developing and testing with selected communal, resettlement and commercial farmer groups

 

Overall objective

To enhance the ability of all livestock farmers in Namibia to make rangeland management decisions based on timely and accurate information regarding the state and productivity of their rangelands, which will reduce their vulnerability to adverse climate change impacts such as more frequent and severe droughts.

 

Specific Objective

To develop and test a rangeland early warning and monitoring system for enhanced decision making with selected farming communities, ranchers and other stakeholders in Namibia.

 

 

Overall Objective

To enhance the ability of all livestock farmers in Namibia to make rangeland management decisions based on timely and accurate information regarding the state and productivity of their rangelands, which will reduce their vulnerability to adverse climate change impacts such as more frequent and severe droughts.

 

Specific Objective

To develop and test a rangeland early warning and monitoring system for enhanced decision making with selected farming communities, ranchers and other stakeholders in Namibia.”

 

Background

Namibia is the most arid African couth of the Sahara. Due to the aridity, livestock production in Namibia is almost entirely dependent on the productivity of its rangelands, which vary widely over time and space according to erratic rainfall patterns and rangeland health differences. The subsequently variability in rangeland forage production and quality, poses severe management challenges to land managers. Poor decisions may result in animal production or asset loss, missed marketing opportunities and often ends in rangeland degradation.

Rangeland early warning and monitoring information systems are designed to provide land managers and policy makers with reliable information about the health or rangelands and imminent forage shortages with sufficient lead-time to allow for timely intervention.

 

Implementation

To support decision making with regards to forage availability, two components will be addressed:

  1. Setting up a rangeland early warning system and
  2. Supporting farmers and support institutions to monitor their rangelands

Expected Results

Result 1: To develop and implement a remote sensing-based vegetation early warning system.

Result 2: To develop and implement local-level monitoring guidelines and benchmarks for use by farmers and communities to self-assess rangeland health.

Result 3: To set up, manage and secure a central database in which all rangeland data are compiled and linked to a Geographic Information System

Result 4: To supply decision-makers at higher levels, e.g. government extension services and policy makers, land-use planning authorities and farmer organizations such as farmer’s unions, with regular situation reports with regards to rangeland health and developing forage shortages at appropriate scales, e.g. national, regional and at constituency level.

 

Major activities

  • Process and analyse the archive of satellite imagery (back to year 2000) to establish a remote sensed vegetation baseline against which future products can be compared in deviation maps
  • Calibrate the remote sensed vegetation indices using field and local-level monitoring data.
  • Stratify rangeland into relative homogenous zones in terms of soils and climate
  • Develop area-specific local-level monitoring materials
  • Provide training and on-going backstopping to land users on how to use the materials and how to interpret the results from the monitoring system
  • Link local level data into the national rangeland database
  • Create a database in a locally well-used computer format, e.g. Microsoft Access
  • Set up data security (backup) measures and protocols for data entry and manipulation.
  • Link database to a GIS
  • Set up data sharing protocols
  • Develop and pilot test information dissemination approaches to reach target groups (e.g. local radio bulletins, newspaper publications, emails, dedicated websites, and smartphone).
  • Use market research methodology to determine group preferences for data products such as dissemination method, frequency of receiving data, relevancy of data products and spatial scale of coverage.
  • Set up data dissemination systems to deliver at regular intervals appropriate and timely information regarding the state of Namibia’s rangelands to various stakeholders
  • Set up and maintain a customer feedback and help service to address issues and to lend support to customer groups and stakeholders.

A Project of

European Union

Implementing Partners

ProVision Agri Ecological Services

Rangeland Monitoring Project Artciles

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