Devil's claw under threat

Illegal grazing and the illegal fencing off of farms are having a profound effect on the devil's claw resource and its ability to sustain two conservancies.

14 November 2019 | Environment

The increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest, as well as illegal fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community forest (NJCCF) are threatening income-generating opportunities.

Lara Diez of the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation says the harvesting and sale of devil's claw in both these conservancies and community forests offer, on a yearly basis, a substantial supplementary income for their members who undertake this activity.

“The long-term potential negative impact of the illegal grazing by cattle and the illegal fencing of farms on the devil's claw resource, and its potential as an income-generating opportunity for harvesters in both Nyae Nyae and N#a Jaqna, is considerable and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Diez says with the 2019 devil's claw harvesting now over, harvesters from both conservancies and community forests supplied just over 20 tons of dried devil's claw.

This generated direct income of just over N$1 million for about 500 harvesters, said Diez.

This income is substantial, considering that in many cases this is one of the only potential sources of income for their members, and especially bearing in mind the extreme drought conditions this year, she said.

Diez explained that in both these areas attention is paid to make sure that devil's claw is sustainably harvested, to ensure that harvesters can continue to benefit in years to come.

According to her harvest monitoring and post-harvest impact assessments are carried out on a regular basis and corrective actions can be taken if any problems are identified.

“Sustainable harvesting and resource health is also verified by an independent third party on an annual basis, resulting in the devil's claw being certified organic. Being certified organic covers a wide variety of aspects, which are audited on an annual basis.”

However, Diez says that illegal grazing and the utilisation of other resources, such as firewood and water in and around the settlement of Tsumkwe, has been an issue for many years for the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest.

According to her the number of cattle and other livestock that are being corralled in Tsumkwe has ballooned over the last five years.

“In August 2017 the area being impacted was estimated to be in the region of a 10km radius, now in 2019 this radius has increased up to a 30km radius.

“This is illegal because the area in question is under the management of the conservancy and community forest, and in addition, no permission has been granted by the traditional authority,” says Diez. She says that aside from the direct impacts of this on Tsumkwe, it is also seriously impacting on the area around the settlement.

Illegal grazing, in particular, is now impacting the health of the devil's claw resource that occurs in the area. It is well-documented that livestock graze above the ground leaf cover of devil's claw in the growing season is detrimental to the growth of tubers and their ability to flower and produce fruiting bodies (seed).

“The livestock also trample the area, making it difficult for harvesters to find the devil's claw plants.”

Diez says in neighbouring N#a Jaqna access to the devil's claw resource is being limited by the illegal erection of fences, and therefore by default, ownership of the area.

According to her many of the areas that have been illegally fenced off are endowed with devil's claw.

“Not only is access becoming an issue, but these areas are also heavily grazed by livestock, which is also negatively impacting on the resource.”

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Illegal sand miners warned

9 hours ago | Environment

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUThe environment ministry has condemned sand miners who start operations without obtaining environmental clearance certificates.They simply pay traditional authorities, who are grateful for the...

Training tomorrow's rhino rangers

1 day - 11 August 2020 | Environment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK The Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) has received a N$1.11 million donation from the Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation to develop innovative...

N?a Jaqna holds best AGM yet

2 days ago - 10 August 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK The N≠a Jaqna Conservancy recently held its most successful annual general meeting (AGM) to date in Mkata, situated in Tsumkwe West. ...

New executive appointments at tourism ministry

5 days ago - 06 August 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKSeveral new staff members were appointed at executive management level at the environment and tourism ministry today.Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta announced that Timoteus Mufeti...

N$5.5m for wildlife protection

6 days ago - 06 August 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The Game Product Trust Fund (GPTF) has become increasingly important in protecting wildlife due to a lack of funding from government. The...

N$1.3bn for environmental projects

6 days ago - 06 August 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia mobilised N$1.3 billion in funding during the 2018/19 financial year. Of this amount, N$530 million was mobilised...

Shifeta calls for 'environmental empathy'

1 week ago - 04 August 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKEnvironment minister Pohamba Shifeta says lack of action and apathy among the Namibian population is one of the greatest challenges to the environment.He was...

Conservation fee coming next year

2 weeks ago - 28 July 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe environment ministry will introduce a conservation fee next year that will be paid by all visitors to national parks in addition to the...

Securing a poaching scene

2 weeks ago - 27 July 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK Intelligence Support Against Poaching (ISAP) recently held a course on how to handle a poaching scene correctly. ...

Namibia's trade in live elephants 2nd in Africa

2 weeks ago - 23 July 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The second highest number of live elephant exports in Africa comes from Namibia. However, the problematic interpretation of...

Latest News

Man charged with girlfriend's panga...

9 hours ago | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIA 36-year-old woman died after she was hacked with a panga at her mother's homestead at Ouhwaala village in the Omusati Region on Sunday.Her...

Covid hits Cabinet, Swapo

9 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKYesterday's routine cabinet meeting was held virtually after a senior official in that arm of government allegedly tested for Covid-19, while the ruling party...

Fishrot whistleblower rubbishes Samherji's loss-making...

9 hours ago | Crime

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKWhistleblower Johannes Stefansson, who formerly headed Icelandic seafood giant Samherji’s Namibian business interests, has cast doubt on claims by his former employer that its...

Land surveying starts at Okahandja

9 hours ago | Economics

The ministry of urban and rural development has started the land surveying process at Ekunde Extension 5 in Okahandja in efforts to speed up land...

Africa Briefs

9 hours ago | Economics

Egyptians vote for newly created senatePolls opened in Egypt yesterday for a two-day election to choose members of a newly created second chamber of parliament,...

Pads restore dignity at Ncamagoro

9 hours ago | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWENCAMAGOROAbout 40 women and girls at Ncamagoro village in Kavango West received free sanitary pads on Monday, donated by anonymous benefactors from the Namibia...

Youth at the periphery of...

9 hours ago | Opinion

With this year's regional and local authority elections a mere two months away, young people are again being elbowed to the edge.In political parties, strategies...

‘Vast global gap' in funds...

9 hours ago | Economics

Stephanie Nebehay - There is a "vast global gap" between funds needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic and funds committed, World Health Organisation chief Tedros...

Python skins seized

9 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKSix suspects were arrested in connection with wildlife crimes and three new cases were opened recently, while seized products included python, leopard and pangolin...

Load More