Rural Poverty Reduction Programme 9 ACP NAM 012 - Strategic Environmental Assessment of replication of the Project Combating Bush Encroachment for Namibia's Development

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The Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN) is implementing a project entitled "Combating Bush Encroachment for Namibia's Development" (CBEND). Bush encroachment on approximately 26 million hectares has affected much of Namibia's rangelands, with the result that cattle farming has been badly affected by loss of grazing capacity. Once grassland savannas have been taken over by bush, some form of intervention is needed to restore an area to productive rangeland. One of the major problems for farmers is the cost of bush clearing in relation to the benefits obtained. In order to help give bush harvesting a value, CBEND envisages that numerous small electricity generating plants will be set up within the bush encroached areas of Namibia. The main objective is to help restore the productivity of rangelands, and electricity generation helps to achieve some cost recovery, even though the amount of electricity generated is expected to be only a small percentage of the national power demand. The project is conceived in the national interest for the overall benefits it seeks to deliver, namely: Restoration of productive rangelands that are currently bush encroached; Supply of electricity into the national grid, using local, indigenous, renewable fuel; Employment creation and opportunities for small bush harvesting enterprises; The establishment of commercially operated small Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

(CBEND, Contract No RPRP-123022-34)
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