Expected climate change impacts on land and natural resource use in Namibia: exploring economically efficient responses

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This paper informs policy over the efficiency of investments on Namibia's rangelands both now and under future expected climate change. It is in this setting that Namibia's pastoralist communities, communal conservancies and increasing numbers of wildlife reside, and their economic activity dominates. We bring the principles of economics to decision-making. We analyse primary land uses, livestock production and wildlife viewing tourism in three ecologically different biomes - the southern Karoo Biome, the central Savanna Biome and the northeastern Woodland Biome. We analyse how expected climate change will impact these investments to 2080. From an economic perspective, pastoralism and wildlife-based tourism developed within common property management systems can be sound investments across Namibia's communal lands. Furthermore, as climate changes, the existing economic benefits to the Namibian economy associated with pastoralism and wildlife-based tourism should be magnified, as capital-intensive commercial fenced ranching systems become less economic. Recent research indicates that adoption of good rangeland management principles involving flexible herding, economies of scale and commercially viable utilisation of invasive bush can significantly increase profits and economic returns on investment for livestock systems in Namibia. Keywords: Namibia, Livestock, Wildlife, Land use, Climate change, Economics.

Publication Title:

Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice

Item Type:
Journal Article

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