General information on Forest Research General information on Forest Research

Forest Monitoring and Mapping

This subdivision is consists of two Subsections: Geo Information System (GIS)- that deal with vector dataset and Remote Sensing- that deal with satellite images and aerial photograph.

The Forest monitoring and Mapping previously known as National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), was established in 1995 to provide a highly specialised technical service to the Directorate of Forestry in particular and to other line ministries and the Namibian public in general. Using cutting edge computer hardware and software, the Centre applied advanced remote sensing and geographic information system (RS & GIS) techniques to extract data from satellite images, aerial photographs, topographic maps and field surveys. Much of these data had never existed in digital form, and the subdivision has built up an impressive and very useful geospatial database.

Since then, the use of computers has become commonplace, and software advances have placed affordable, user-friendly geo-processing programmes on the desktops of almost every government ministry. The development of this so-called “in house” geoprocessing capacity has numerous advantages for individual ministries, including direct control of tasking priorities, as well as the ability to tailor outputs to their specific needs. It is expected that this trend will continue. At the same time, the subdivision will be a proactive research and monitoring unit that combines remote sensing and GIS skills with sound research principles to address country-wide forest/woodland issues.

Forest resources play an important role in sustaining the livelihoods of an increasing number of people at all levels of society. This growing pressure on the resource requires careful monitoring if overutilization is to be avoided. Towards this end, a woody resource monitoring system should be developed, that will enable managers at national, regional and community level to make informed decisions about sustainable. Two major projects areas have been developed:

Bush fires – forest and veld fire management remains a formidable challenge (NDP3 2007/08 – 2011/12 Vol.1 P102). Repeated burning is thought to be a major contributing factor to tree mortality, but no hard evidence exists to support or refute this perception. To address this issue, a national fire monitoring system has been developed to provide information the monthly burned areas and daily fire bulletin for decision making and better planning.

Land cover/land use change – a bush utilization program was implemented by Directorate of Forestry (DoF) during NDP2 and the reduction of bush encroached land remains an objective for several sectors. However, the rate and direction of land cover change is not known. A national land cover change monitoring system will therefore be developed, and research will be conducted on the drivers and dynamics of observed changes.

Other projects include:

•Vegetation mapping for a specified areas e,g State Forest or community Forest

•Community Forest boundary and zone mapping

•Fire cutline priority areas and existing cutline mapping

•Inventory sample units design

•Capacity building of DoF staff on basic GIS and GPS

Project in other areas can also be carried out, as mentioned above that the subdivision has various dataset at national and regional level. We are based at Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry head office, Directorate of Forestry ,3rd floor, room 301 and 308, telephone: 061 2087274/71