The !nara and factors that lead to its decline in productivity

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The study on the !Nara and the factors that lead to its decline in productivity was carried out in the Namib Naukluft Park, at the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre situated along the Kuiseb River. Three aspects were considered in order to investigate the decline in !Nara productivity: Grazing pressure caused by the livestock in the area; Decline of the water table in the Kuiseb River, as a result of dams that were built in the 1960s to extract water to the coastal towns i.e. Swakopmund, Walvisbay and the mining activities in the region; Changing the harvesting methods used by the Topnaar Community during the harvesting of the !Nara melons. The Topnaar are the local people found along the Kuiseb River and have depended largely on the !Nara products for their survival. The aspect of examining the current methods used by the Topnaar was the main objective of this report. The investigation examined the current harvesting methods, uses of the !Nara products, how to mitigate human impact and makes suggestions towards their sustainable management. This project involved the collaboration with the Topnaar Community Foundation and also involved the full participation of the Topnaar people, particularly the harvesters that provided the information on harvesting procedures. Keywords: !nara, naukluft park, topnaar, fog, natural factors.

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