Figure 1.2 The dry savannas of southern Africa are a source of numerous forest products. Here three young boys return with their harvest of baobab fruits, collected

while herding cattle, Hot Springs, Zimbabwe

contribution of indigenous species to household livelihoods is largely based on a desire to produce policy-relevant research. A number of potential uses for value estimates of indigenous resources are perceived. Firstly, there are land-use questions where, for example, centrally planned attempts have sought to improve livelihoods by replacing indigenous species with agricultural species. To weigh the trade-offs associated with forgone indigenous resources, value estimates are necessary (see Box 5.1). Secondly, there are

development projects involving indigenous species where cost-benefit analyses need to be undertaken. Values of indigenous species are crucial in attempting to get as broad a measure of social welfare as possible. Thirdly, value estimates are used to justify and argue for a change in focus, towards greater consideration of indigenous resources in rural development. We present two examples of this, one using data for the national level for Namibia (Box 1.1) and the other using data from three case study areas in South Africa (Box


In a widely circulated booklet from the Directorate of Forestry (1996) in Namibia, the values of trees and woodlands in Namibia are presented. The data show that these resources have many different values, and that in total they are worth some N$105.8 million per year* (Figure 1.3). Of particular importance are wood values (for fence poles, fuel and construction), but tourism is also important. In the same booklet the government allocation to the Directorate of Forestry is given as N$3 million in 1996. The preface to the document is by the president of the country.