Mopane woodlands

Sustainable multiple-use management of Colophospermum mopane woodlands in northern Namibia

Project promoter: Robert De Wulf

Researcher: Isabelle Joos

Duration: 2008 - 2012

Project objectives

This research aimed to develop new knowledge for the improvement of sustainable multiple-use woodland management supporting the livelihood of local communities. The general objective of this research was to design a multiple-use management model, based on both expert and scientific knowledge and applied to the C. mopane woodlands of northern Namibia. Because NTFPs contribute considerably to the livelihoods of local communities, their integration into the design of the management model was considered. To obtain this integration, an adapted methodology was developed. This model should provide decision-support information in order to sustain these woodlands into the future while obtaining an acceptable harvest of woodland products. Decision making will be supported by translating research findings into operational mopane woodland management strategies. More precisely, outputs and contributions will be provided on the following topics: the growing stock characteristics, resource assessment and inventory, sustainable harvest levels of timber and NTFPs, improvement of current harvesting practices and monitoring. Based on the insights obtained from the designed management model, advice for the improvement of management strategies can be given.

The specific objectives of this research were:

  1. To assess indigenous resource use and management practices for C. mopane woodland;
  2. To assess the influence of harvesting NTFPs and current management on C. mopane woodland structure;
  3. To develop a resource assessment and inventory design for the C. mopane woodland;
  4. To develop a woodland management model that integrates the multiple uses of the C. mopane woodlands.

Key publication

Joos, Isabelle, and Robert De Wulf. “Patterns of Subsistence Harvesting of Woodland Products at the Household Level: a Multi-agent Approach.” International Forestry Review. Vol. 12. 2010. 420–420.