Namibia is a dry country, with a mean precipitation of 250mm per year. The climatic conditions, are worsened by human activities which present serious challenges in terms of desertification, land degradation and drought. Due to the climatic differences within the country, Namibia has a broad variety of plant species from desert and semi-desert vegetation to evergreen subtropical plants.
About 70% of Namibia is savannah, predominately Thornbush in central Namibia. Towards the North-East, where there is higher rainfall, the Thornbush savannah slowly turns into Miombo savannah and there is a greater tree density. In the relatively humid Zambezi, the dominant vegetation form is the woodland savannah, interspersed with single baobabs, wild figs and Makalani palms.
Why Forests Matter
Forests are a vital natural resource in Namibia as they reduce soil erosion and conserve water, maintain biodiversity, and provide many products such as wood and food to communities. Without forests, large areas in Namibia would become degraded, and the communities in those areas would suffer in various ways. Forests are important because they:
form the source of livelihood for different human settlements, from woody and non-woody products, e.g. droppers poles, firewood, basket salos, food and medicine;
are complex ecosystems, with a variety of animals and plants species containined in them;
offer watershed protection;
prevent soil erosion, help maintain the water cycle, and serve as carbon sinks.
Forest Management Areas
Despite the government and community member’s efforts to sustainably managecommunity forests, the forests continue to be under threats such as:
Over harvesting of forest resources;
Uncontrolled forest fires;
Uncontrolled clearing of land for crop cultivation and other uses poor livestock grazing practises;