Land degradation monitoring in Namibia: a first approximation

Environ Monit Assess. 2004 Dec;99(1-3):5-21. doi: 10.1007/s10661-004-3994-6.


This paper presents development of a first approximation of a Namibian, national level, land degradation monitoring system. The process involved a large number of stakeholders and led to the definition of four primary indicators that were regarded as related to land degradation in Namibia: population pressure, livestock pressure, seasonal rainfall and erosion hazards. These indicators were calculated annually for the period 1971-1997. Annual land degradation risk maps were produced for the same period by combining the indicators. A time series analysis of results generated by indicators was undertaken at two sites. The analysis revealed a general trend towards an increased land degradation risk over the period 1971-1997. A decrease in annual rainfall and an increase in livestock numbers caused this negative trend at one site, while decreased annual rainfall and increased human population were the causes at a second site. Evaluation of resulting maps through direct field observations and long-term monitoring at selected study sites with different conditions relevant for the indicators defined, is an essential next step.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Namibia
  • Population Density
  • Rain
  • Soil
  • Water Supply


  • Soil