This week Mr Kraus (BMBF) and Mr Ananou (PT-DLR) visited Namibia to familiarize themselves with the work SASSCAL is doing. Accompanied by Dr. Seleti, Prof. Helmschrot, Mr. Nakaleke (Regional Secretariat), Mr. Erb (National Node Namibia) and Ms. Nulle, they visited the Waterberg Plateau Park to find out more about the projects done there in support of biodiversity conservation and park management as well as visited one of the automatic weather stations.
Around Omuthiya, in Otjikoto region, the group observed the challenges rural farmers face, especially in relation to poor quality ground water. The visit of hand-dug wells in this area has given an impressive insight into the hard struggle of the local population in providing water to the stock.
On the way through Etosha National Park the colleagues could at first observe some of the conservation successes in the country. The group then visited the long-term biodiversity observatory at Erichsfelde near Okahandja, where Dr Strohbach and four of his PhD and Masters students gave us a demonstration of how they use a drone to record the individual plants on the 1 km² observatory. In addition, Ms. Nulle explained her work on soil respiration and its relevance for the understanding of land management.
In the three-day field trip the SASSCAL team managed to give our German partners a very quick overview of the diversity of SASSCAL supported research work and its relevance for decision making by stakeholders in Namibia.