Forestry in Namibia 1850-1990, by Antti Erkkilä and Harri Siiskonen
Forest policy and legislation in Namibia during 1850-1990, as well as deforestation and bush encroachment, is topic of this most interesting book that has been written by the Finnish experts Antti Erkkilä and Harri Siiskonen.
Introduction: Forests and trees have had an undeniable role in the development of the Namibian way of life. They have provided both African and European populations with fuelwood, building material and food, as well as fodder for their cattle. In addition ttheir economic value, forests have alshad an important social, cultural and psychological impact. During the last few decades Namibian forests and woodlands have diminished rapidly, especially in the northern parts of the country. In central Namibia logging, fires and overgrazing have generated a serious bush encroachment problem. The spread of invader bush species has decreased the grazing capacity of the pasture lands dramatically and caused serious losses for livestock farmers. Accordingly, in the northern regions deforestation has caused shortage of fuelwood and building material, as well as soil erosion. Yet, considering the prevailing harsh climate, Namibia can still be regarded as a fairly well wooded country. We believe that in order to understand the present state of forestry in Namibia, one has tbe aware of past practices. Therefore, we have deemed it necessary tstudy Namibian forestry since the 1850s. The present study was started four months before Namibia gained her independence. Two journeys were made tthe Republic of Namibia in 1990 for the collection of data. The field survey covered the northern part of the country, especially Owambo. Bremen, Frankfurt and Koblenz, as well as Pretoria and Johannesburg, were visited in order to acquire essential literature and to establish contacts with researchers and institutions involved in Namibian forestry. The holdings of the National Archives of Namibia have been the main archival source. The main objectives of the present study were:
1) to analyse past forest policy, forest legislation and forest research in Namibia,
2) to study the role of forests for the people of Namibia,
3) to bring tlight new information on the woody vegetation in northern Namibia,
4) to collect relevant references on forestry in Namibia, and
5) to establish contact with researchers involved in Namibian forestry.
The main emphasis has been put on those issues that we believe are important for understanding the present state of forestry and the needs of the future development of forestry. These issues include, e.g. deforestation, bush encroachment, forest research, forest inventories and management plans, as well as commercial fellings. The advancement of deforestation in Owambo has been studied by using archival sources, carrying out field studies and analyzing satellite images. This report is divided into three parts.
PART I gives basic information about Namibia, its geography, climate, soils, vegetation, people, economy and government.
PART II concentrates in more detail on the most wooded areas of the country - Owambo, Kavangand Caprivi. We believe that anyone involved with forestry in Namibia must have basic information about the country. There are clear linkages between different sectors, e.g. forestry, agriculture, energy and water development. Knowledge of related fields helps to promote cooperation and to tackle issues on which there are conflicting interests. More specific information, e.g. about climate, soils or vegetation, is to be found in the publications mentioned in this report.
PART III analyses the forest policy, forest legislation and forestry activities in Namibia from the nineteenth century until the present. The subjects discussed alsinclude, e.g. deforestation, bush encroachment, and forest products used by the African population. Works written by the early explorers have been used in analyzing long-term changes in the woody vegetation, especially the deforestation in Owambo. The long-term trends in forest policy, forest legislation, and forestry activities are divided into the German colonial period (1884-1915), the mandate period and the modern period (I960-present). The main publications and archival records concerning Namibian woody vegetation are reviewed and analysed.
This is an excerpt from the book: Forestry in Namibia 1850-1990, by Antti Erkkilä and Harri Siiskonen.
Book title: Forestry in Namibia 1850-1990
Authors: Antti Erkkilä; Harri Siiskonen
Publisher University of Joensuu
Series: Silva Carelica 20
Series editor: Tim Pukkalo
Joensuu, Finland 1992
ISBN 9517080107 / ISBN 951-708-010-7
Hardcover, 18x25 cm, 244 pages, many bw- and colour photos and sketches
Erkkilä, Antti und Siiskonen, Harri im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Forest policy and legislation in Namibia during 1850-1990, as well as deforestation and bush encroachment, is topic of this most interesting book.
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