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Presentation Oral presentation
Title Developing a decision support system for the management of semi-arid savannas in Namibia (progress and lessons learnt).

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Short title A DSS for management of semi-arid savannas.

Author(s) Joubert, D.F.; Zimmermann, I.; Fendler, J.; Winschiers, H.

Presenting author Joubert, D.F.

Institution(s) Polytechnic of Namibia, Private Bag 13388, Windhoek, Namibia

Keywords adaptive management; bush thickening; participatory workshops

Abstract We describe the development of a simple rule-based DSS (expert system) for semi-arid savanna management in Namibia, emphasizing adaptive management regarding bush thickening. Over the past years we have conducted a series of participatory workshops with farmers and extension officers to work out requirements, assess the usability and the rules /content of the system and to understand diverse decision making by farmers. We have implemented an enabling knowledge creation platform to continue the development and validation of our decision support system through collaboration with dedicated farmers. It is envisaged that extension officers in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry could use the DSS as a communication and training tool for farmer groups as well as a training tool for extension officers. Although DSSs hold promise for improving decision making, the primary challenge here is to convince a diffuse group of resource managers to adopt this approach, and to co-opt the line ministry to buy in to the idea. This step is seen as crucial to the successful implementation of this DSS, as well as the construction and use of the DSS concept for management in general.

Congress Topic Interventions

Topic No. 4.9
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Ref. No. 609