Water conservation under spotlight at high level talks

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-With studies having shown that more rainwater is stored underground on farms with bush thinning compared to farms with none, and with a poor grazing conditions, the challenges now are how Namibian producers can use these advantages and how international consumers can get the assurance that the meat bought at a bonus is produced in the right manner.

This observation was made recently by Mecki Schneider, a farmer from Grootfontein and former president of the Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) when talks with interested parties in the commercial area to propose any incentives that will promote conservation of rangeland, water and game were held last week.

Schneider and Johan Britz of the Cheetah Conservation Fund were the guest speakers. Schneider focused on the fact that most rural towns in Namibia are dependent on underground water and conservation inputs of farmers have a direct influence on the availability of underground water for these towns.

Conservation of water and game, however, starts with the improvement of the rangeland condition of the land. The aim is to collect the opinions of commercial farmers throughout the country and a short questionnaire will be sent out in due course with the support of the various involved organisations to get the opinions of producers.

The survey will also be used as input for the discussions about the new Protected Areas and Wildlife Management Bill of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. All interested parties agreed that commercial conservancies managed by the landowners themselves would play an important role in facilitating incentives for conservation in future.

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