Namibia-Finland Forestry Program (IFFN No. 25)

The Namibia-Finland Forestry Programme

(IFFN No. 25, July 2001, p. 37-39)

Namibia Forestry Strategic Plan (NFSP) was formulated in 1996 by the Directorate of Forestry (DoF) as the basis for the future organisation and development efforts in the forestry sector. Namibia-Finland Forestry Programme (NFFP) was subsequently launched by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism as the main entry in the implementation of the NFSP and its first phase was implemented during 1997-2001. The overall objective of the Programme was to increase the role of forestry in the socio-economic development of Namibia through continuous development and implementation of sustainable forest management practices. The Programme comprised four components as follows: Public Sector Forestry Capacity Building (included sub-components on Institutional Development, National Forest Inventory, Forestry Training at Ogongo Agricultural College and Technical Support to the National Remote Sensing Centre), Community-level Forest Management, Environmental Forestry, and Integrated Forest Fire Management. The second phase of the NFFP is currently under implementation with a reviewed structure.

The purpose of the Institutional Development (ID) sub-component was to bring Directorate of Forestry (DoF) at an adequate level with respect to management structure, information systems, forest research and policy implementation so as to enable sustainable management and monitoring of forestry activities by all stakeholders. The review of the national forest policy was completed and national criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management subsequently developed. DoF organisation management was strengthened through the development of mission and vision statements as well as strategic objectives and milestones for their achievement. Result areas and indicators were also developed for principal staff at all organisation levels and individual annual objective setting and work planning procedures introduced for officers occupying all relevant posts.

Necessary prerequisites for rational decision-making at DoF were created through the establishment of effective management information systems. Priority systems defined were forest permit information system, forest fire monitoring system, management reporting and accounting system, user–friendly forest resource information system and local-level forest management planning system. Training needs assessment for the entire sector was completed and in-service training programmes initiated. Altogether 11 overseas scholarships for MSc and BSc studies were sponsored by the Programme. Forest research priorities were also assessed and respective research programmes are now being initiated.

The purpose of National Forest Inventory (NFI) sub-component was to produce adequate forest resource information which is being used for forestry strategic planning and operational management. The regional-level inventories were completed and respective forest resource data generated for the Caprivi region, and for Tsumkwe, Otjinene and Okakarara districts in the Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions. The forest resource data for some 4-O regions was also generated. The deteriorated security situation in Kavango and Ohangwena did not allow forest inventories in those regions. The first high-intensity inventories to support operational forest management were undertaken in the proposed community forestry reserves of Ongandjera and Uukwaluudhi, in the Caprivi State Forest and in a designated concession area of Nkurenkuru. The model on the actual operational inventories for the preparation of operational forest management plans for the designated pilot community forest areas in Omusati was developed by the community forestry component. Local capacity building to master the inventory methodology and related data processing systems was an integral part of component activities. The field teams are now led by qualified Namibians.

The purpose of the sub-component on Forestry Training at Ogongo Agricultural College (OAC) was to enable Ogongo Agricultural College produce good quality forestry graduates. The first new Diploma in Forestry Programme with 11 students was completed and two future forestry teachers are currently undergoing B.Sc. training in the University of Stellenbosch. Existing human resources at the OAC have been constantly developed through on-the-job training and study tours. The component also involved development of physical resources, the main investments being new vehicles, irrigation system at the nursery, tools and machinery for carpentry workshop, computers and office equipment, and new teaching and training material. During the last year the existing management system of the College was analysed and development needs identified. Networking channels have been identified by establishing regular contacts with other forestry training institutions and through study tours.

The purpose of the sub-component on Technical Support to National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), which was launched in August 2000 and is still ongoing, is to establish improved capacity at NRSC to offer services on Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to all stakeholders. The sub-component objectives include development of effective organisation management tools for planning and implementation of all NRSC activities. The human and material resources at NRSC are being developed to meet the information needs of various stakeholders and relevant demand driven information systems established and mechanism for their updating developed. Regular and formal collaboration and networking mechanisms are being developed in collaboration with the relevant local, regional and international stakeholders.

The purpose of the Community-Level Forest Management (CF) component was to produce applicable models of sustainable integrated forest management which are implemented in communal lands. The forest reserves located in the Uukwaludhi, Uukolonkadhi and Ongandgera communal areas of the Omusati region were selected as pilot areas. Within these areas, five villages were subsequently identified as potential pilot communities A model integrated land-use and forestry plan based on indigenous landscape classification was developed and integrated forest management agreements with several local communities established. Regional-level institutional and financial incentive schemes were also designed to encourage and promote community-level forest management. The component contributed significantly to the establishment of effective Forestry Extension Service in Outapi through technical and financial support. Building of the Outapi Forestry District Office was completed and equipped with furniture, vehicle, radio-communication system as well as necessary computer hardware and software.

The purpose of the Environmental Forestry component (EF) was to produce applicable methods for establishing and managing nationally strategic forests, e.g. for watershed management or biodiversity conservation. The component operated at two levels: framework building at national level, and methodology development at local level. The activities involved the national process to establish mechanisms for inter-sectoral coordination on forest conservation as well as to develop criteria for nationally strategic forests as well as their identification and mapping. The field process located in Caprivi involved selection of pilot forest areas and their social, economic and environmental characterisation. The first pilot area coincided with the Salambala conservancy and collaboration agreements with relevant stakeholders were formulated. Management objectives both from local and national viewpoints were defined and respective management schemes formulated. Local management capacities were enforced through capacity building. The process also involved development of appropriate monitoring systems so as to enable continuous improvement of the methodology.

The formerly bilateral project on Integrated Forest Fire Management (IFFM), previously called Forest Fire Control, was integrated as a supporting component into the Programme with the purpose of producing an applicable model for Integrated Forest Fire Management. It hoped to benefit forestry by involving local communities in wise fire management for their own benefit using Caprivi as the pilot region. The component enhanced the capabilities of all stakeholders on forest fire control and ecologically acceptable use of fire, and also aimed at changing of attitudes, cultural values and habits in relation to fire and burning. A variety of preventive fire protection field works were completed and extension message on forest fire control and management delivered through a variety of traditional and new extension channels. The continuous monitoring of the component impact has been facilitated through a GIS-based fire scar mapping procedure developed by the National Remote Sensing Centre. National fire management guidelines were also produced and are being tested during the second phase of NFFP.

Windhoek – Helsinki, 15 May 2001

Harri Seppanen

Consultant Team Leader
Namibia-Finland Forestry Programme
PO Box 23930
6 Parson Street

Fax:   ++264-61-222830
Tel:   ++264-81-127 2306

Editorial Remarks: Mr. Seppanen and Mr. Mike Jurvélius, forest fire expert and technical coordinator of the National Forest Fire Management Guidelines for Namibia (see p. 73 of this issue), returned to their home country Finland in May 2001. The Namibia-Finland Forestry Programme can be contacted through the address in Windhoek. The following papers from Namibia are outputs of the Namibia-Finland Forestry Programme.

IFFN readers are kindly reminded that earlier reports on Namibia have been published in the pages of IFFN /GFMC:
Jurvélius, M. and J. Kawana. 1998. Namibia: 30 % reduction in fire incidents in three years. International Forest Fire News No. 19, 67-70.
Jurvélius, M. 1999. Namibia: Reduction in fire incidents in East Caprivi. International Forest Fire News No. 21, 24-27.
Trigg, S. 2000. Fire monitoring and management in Namibia. International Forest Fire News No. 22, 49-53


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