Weather data
A large number of automatic weather stations has been implemented in the frame of the BIOTA AFRICA project by the Namibian National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and the Group "Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology" (BEE) of the University of Hamburg. The website offers hourly updates of data and graphs of a large number of weather parameters.



Change of land use

Human land use had a strong impact on biodiversity since the early times of human development. Hunters and gatherers did not only alter populations of target organisms, by direct collecting and killing, but manipulated and changed the environment by various means, including the use of fire for e.g. hunting.

Major change of vegetation and faunas occurred when people learned to keep domestic stock, often in great number. Especially water points and the surrounding area were occupied and often overexploited and/or polluted, while wild animals were excluded from these resources. Even more so, the expansion of gardens and acres converted natural landscapes into artificial ecosystems with new functions and services.

The impact again drastically increased already during early colonial times but mainly within the 20th century with the increasing degree of mechanisation which entailed deeper ploughing, use of pesticides and mineral fertilizers, the subdivision of open landscapes into fenced camps etc. Therefore, at a global average, a maximum of impact was reached during the mid to second half of the 20th century.

Presently, numerous and very diverse trends are observed. While some of the historical pressures decreased to a certain extent (e.g. farming activities and small stock density decreased in Namaqualand, South Africa,during the last few decades, ecotourism replaced farming with small stock in parts of Namibia), a number of new threats emerged. Driven by the expanding global economies the demand for raw materials increased and, therefore, deforestation and mining are re-activated in many parts of the world. Simultaneously, the rising prices for energy caused a great interest in the large scale production of biomass for the production of biofuel.

Namibia: Sheeps and goats near waterpoint

Namibia: Herd of sheeps

Namibia: Cattle near waterpoint