The Future Okavango - Cultural Knowledge, Valuation, and Regulation of Ecosystem Services
Fotos: Michael Pröpper
Despite increasing rates of urbanisation, the livelihoods of the majority of households in the Okavango river basin depend directly on access to ecosystem services (ESS). The anthropological sub-project of the BMBF-funded imitative ‘The future Okavango’ analyzes how local resource users perceive, valuate and regulate ecosystem functions and services in the research area. An actor-oriented approach concentrates on four interlinked tasks: firstly we explore the local ecological knowledge about the services provided by the environment. Secondly we investigate the people’s emic valuation of material and non-material ESS as identified in step one and in the overall scientific framework. Based on these results we explore how individuals and households decide which natural resources to utilize. The fourth analytical step will show how actors negotiate institutional regimes at the community level to regulate ESS and which of these regimes allows for a sustainable and just management and distribution of resources. The four scientific tasks can only be achieved through the active involvement and strengthening of local capacities. This involvement of stakeholders is guaranteed through the fifth task.
The project is funded with about 600.000 Euro.
- Dr. Beatrice Sandelowsky. (University of Namibia (UNAM)/The University Centre for Studies in Namibia [TUCSIN])
- Prof. Dr. Cristina Rodrigues (Lisbon University Institute/Centre of African Studies [ISCTE-CEA9])
- Dr. Samuel Aço (Universidade Agonstinho Neto – Luanda, Faculdade de Sciencias Sociais/Centro de Estudos do Deserto - Huila)
The project website can be found at http://www.future-okavango.org