Gully-affected areas in the Kunene region: looking for suitable locations for future citizen-science project

Author: Orti, Miguel

Land degradation in Namibia is currently threatening livelihoods from several regions of the country. One of the major causes of land degradation in Namibia is soil erosion, which produces very critical ecological, landscape and economic damage when it manifests in the form of gullies. The development of standardized methods to detect and monitor the evolution of gully-affected areas is crucial to plan prevention and remediation strategies. Previous research supported by Integrated Land Management Institute (ILMI) and German Aerospace Center (DLR) was focused on the development of methods to detect gullies automatically from satellite remote sensing data (Vallejo et al, forthcoming). Although the results are valid for carrying out a preliminary large-scale spatial mapping, the satellite images are not usable for a detailed modelling in time and space. For this reason, new methodologies are proposed to address the problem from a different perspective, this time using the local inhabitants as a citizen scientist in a crowdsourcing approach. To set the foundation of this project, planned for 2019, it is necessary to identify several pilot areas where there are gullies of different types and where the local inhabitants are interested in collaborating. Therefore, this working paper intends to document a field work campaign carried out with this aim.