NAMares Marine Ecosystem Services for Marine Spatial Planning

2nd Call
Project Duration: October 2020 to March 2023
Partnership Project NAMares
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Project Summary

Like many other African countries, Namibia is increasingly turning to its ocean as a source of goods and services supporting economic growth. Fishing is a cornerstone of the economy, but other marine and coastal activities are becoming increasingly prominent. At the same time, maintenance of healthy ecosystems and marine and coastal biodiversity are also important objectives. To address such a multi-stakeholder playing field with various interests, NAMares was set up as a practice-oriented project that was designed to support the nascent marine spatial planning (MSP) process in Namibia, with potential for outreach to the wider region. The overall goal was to support planners in making more informed decisions by improving the available knowledge base on marine ecosystem services and their beneficiaries, with focus on coastal tourism, shell collecting and artisanal fisheries. The project demonstrated the value of an inter- and transdisciplinary approach where various scientists and other stakeholders came together to do problem-oriented research in a way that respects and gives a voice to marginalised sectors. NAMares was able to have a real impact on MSP processes and planning decisions.

Key Impacts

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The project facilitated capacity-building by providing emerging researchers and students with valuable experience and opportunities for academic advancement.
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The project supported the science-policy interface by connecting its research with the ongoing MSP process in Namibia and the wider region.
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The project created new networks of marine scientists with Namibian teachers and artisanal fishers with an interest in the ocean, who share ocean-related research materials and topics.