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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Population and Environment
Title Livelihoods, land use and land cover change in the Zambezi Region, Namibia
Author(s)
Volume 37
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 207-230
URL https://repository.up.ac.za/dspace/bitstream/handle/2263/51341/Kamwi_Livelihoods_2015.pdf?sequence=1
Abstract
This paper examines the socio-economic drivers of land use and land
cover change and assesses the impacts of such changes to rural livelihoods in the
Zambezi region of northern Namibia. We carried out a longitudinal analysis of
Landsat imagery of land use and land cover. The analysis revealed that the amount
of land in the region covered by forest increased significantly in the period from
1991 to 2010 whilst crop/grass land decreased. Focus group meetings, key informant
interviews and semi-structured interviews covering 424 households stratified
by gender were used. The results show that natural resource uses are vitally important
in the rural livelihoods. The drivers of land use and land cover change are
agricultural expansion, population increase and illegal logging. Livelihood coping
strategies include piecework, food aid, borrowing from relatives and wild food
collection. By gender stratification, piecework contributed 37 and 63 % while
agriculture contributed 29 and 71 % of the income of male- and female-headed
households. Logistic regression analysis showed knowledge of regulations, age
group and species availability significantly (p\0.05) influenced the choice of a
household’s livelihood coping strategy. The study concludes that the changes in
coping strategies influenced by a variety of factors have led to the diminished use of
natural resources. For policy purposes, this suggests that state interventions can play
a significant role in promoting more sustainable natural resource usage. This analysis
enables effective decision-making to reconcile the efforts of sustainable development
and natural resource management.

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