Bush Encroachment in Namibia
Various studies estimate that 10-12 million hectares,
representing 12-14% of Namibia are seriously infested by undesirable
bush species. Other studies have determined that about 10 metric tons
per hectare of excess wood biomass are available for production. This
could provide over 100 million tons of raw materials available for
production. With one production plant processing about 5000 tons per
year, it is obvious that there is sufficient raw material available for
many such plants.
History of Bushblok
2001, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID) collaborated to find a habitat
improvement programme that would be ecologically and economically
viable. Research identified a business opportunity to process
encroaching bush into compacted fuel logs for use as a cooking fuel or
for home heating. CCF Bush (PTY) Ltd. was established to manufacture the
harvest methodologies that are economically, environmentally, and
various chipping and transport methodologies to assure delivery of
sufficient quantity and quality of raw chips to the processing
processing plant which will use bush chips as raw material, add no
chemicals or binders, and produce a clean and economically viable
alternative to existing products such as firewood, coal, lump
charcoal and charcoal briquettes used for cooking fuel and
other industries to use bush wood as raw material.
train and empower Namibians as work force and management staff as
well as provide opportunities for self-employed entrepreneurs.
local businesses to harvest and transport the raw material and
How Does This Help The Cheetah?
The natural habitat of the cheetah is in open grasslands
and savannah, which consists of large open areas with scattered trees
and bush. Most game species which cheetahs hunt are grazers, and
cheetahs are well adapted to hunt and chase prey in these conditions.
Bush encroachment causes the savannah to become overgrown with bush
species, limiting both the supply of prey and the ability of the cheetah
to chase it. Bushblok production requires harvesting this encroaching
bush for use as a raw material, which thins it out and helps return the
savannah to a more natural state.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)
Established in 1990, the Cheetah
Conservation Fund operates in the centre of Namibia's farmlands. The CCF
develops and implements long-term monitoring and multi-disciplinary
research and education programmes to ensure the survival of the cheetah
and its ecosystem. The CCF also supports environmentally appropriate
initiatives that assure the well-being of communities living within the