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Gobabeb Research & Training Centre

ASSESSING SASSCAL – sharing experiences across Namibian institutions

Gobabeb recently (22–23 March 2018) hosted a close-up workshop organised by the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) to evaluate projects supported by the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL).

The first phase of this German-funded initiative is drawing to a close, and stock-taking of achievements, impacts, gaps and opportunities was deemed essential to inform future activities. Gobabeb also benefitted from SASSCAL support for Task 054, Impact of predicted altered climate and reduced fog along the Namib coast as a result of warming of the Benguela, AKA “FogNet.” Other Namibian stakeholders were also present to share lessons learnt and to celebrate the successes of this initiative. One of significant benefits of this particular event was to consider new research interventions for Phase II, which could be developed in partnership, based on the solid foundations already in place and carefully considering the experiences of Phase I.

Through its implementation of FogNet, Gobabeb was able to establish an array of weather stations in the Central Namib to routinely monitor weather conditions, with a special focus on fog. This weather station network generates data for Gobabeb’s own projects and records, which are also made freely available to other initiatives. This output inspired the development of an international initiative, NaFoLiCA, to analyse fog processes and patterns in the Namib. Given the significant investment into the erection and maintenance of this infrastructure, it will be essential to secure additional resources to continue, and even expand, the current weather station network. It is hoped that a strong case will be made at the upcoming SASSCAL Science Symposium in Lusaka in April to continue support to the regional WeatherNet system, across all SASSCAL partner countries. For more on SASSCAL: www.sasscal.org/

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