Gobabeb Desert Research
Gobabeb Training & Research Center
The Gobabeb Research Centre forms a joint venture with the Desert Research Foundation Namibia (DRFN) and the Ministry for Environment and Tourism. The main aim of the Gobabeb Training & Research Center is the research about arid ecosystems and their diversity, i.e. desertification, water catchment and adaptation of the fauna to the desert.
Namibia was the first country worldwide to include nature conservation in their Constitution. The well-known Gobabeb Research Centre forms a joint venture with the Desert Research Foundation Namibia (DRFN) and the Ministry for Environment and Tourism. In 2009 the reseach station celebrated its 50th anniversary. It was built in an area of three different ecosystems: amongst the Kuiseb River, the southern dune sea and the northern gravel plains of the Namib Desert. The centre is situated about 120 km southeast of Walvis Bay within the Namib Naukluft Park.
Gobabeb used to be a former settlement of the Topenaar and means „Place of the fig tree“. The Austrian entomologist Charles Koch, who conducted a research on some beetle species in the area in 1958, became the first director of the research station in South West Africa – today Namibia. The station was founded by the South African Transvaal Museum in 1962.
Many international organisations support the work of the research station through donations and thus contribute partly to the financing of the desert station.
Apart from climatic studies the research covers anything that creeps and flies. The main aim however is the research about arid ecosystems and their diversity, i.e. desertification, water catchment and adaptation of the fauna to the desert. The research centre is constantly inhabited by researchers, students and volunteers who in the last 50 years have published nearly 2000 research results. The centre is a research and training centre for the whole of southern Africa.
Energetically spoken the centre has been built as an example of Appropriate Technologies and 90% of its energy consumption is covered by solar power.
Training plays a big role in Gobabeb. Every year about 1000 participants are trained in various courses. This does not only include students, but also farmers, private persons, representatives of interested groups and clubs, just to mention a few.
Some scientists only stay for a couple of days, so that there is a continuous coming and going at the centre. Private visitors are welcome, but visits should be arranged and confirmed beforehand.
Photos Gobabeb Desert Research
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