‘The Future Okavango’ Project commenced in 2010 as a collaborative project between Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Germany with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to establish baseline data for the Okavango Basin and to ascertain how land use trends in the Basin are presently affecting and will in future affect its ecosystem.
The book provides data and scientific knowledge, scenarios of future projections of various possible developments and recommendations that will help to maintain the functioning of the ecosystems, their services and the well-being of its population. In addition, climate change and other forms of environmental change were measured, modelled and projected for the future of the basin which integrates the active parts of the Okavango Basin in South Eastern Angola, North Eastern Namibia and North Western Botswana.
Against this wide geographical area the project has generated scientific knowledge to support an integrated transboundary management for the Okavango region that allows a sustainable and equitable utilisation of its ecosystem services. The School of Natural Resources and Spatial Sciences collaborated in three sub-projects under the programme that provided opportunities for Poly faculty and students to participate in the project and gain valuable insights into and experience of the Okavango Ecosystem. Six senior students from the School of Natural Resources and Spatial Sciences and one from the School of Engineering benefitted financially from the project when they were awarded bursaries to complete their post-graduate studies.
A copy of ‘The Final Synopsis Report of The Future Okavango’ was presented to the Rector of the Poly, Prof Tjama Tjivikua, by the project co-ordinator, Prof Norbert Jürgens of the University of Hamburg.
Tjivikua said he was delighted that the Poly could celebrate the completion of the project with many of those who had been involved.
“The project has contributed greatly to our research output, capacity building and knowledge creation. As a respected university, we are committed to continue educating and training young Namibians to become technically well-qualified to contribute positively to the management of our fragile environment since our people and economy depend on it.
”The Poly places a premium value on collaborative research and the launch of the book demonstrates this effort,” Tjivikua a said.