University of Twente Student Theses


Spatial planning for off-road driving areas – Pros and cons of environmental regulations: A case study in a semi-arid environment, Namibia

Heinze, Claudia (2009) Spatial planning for off-road driving areas – Pros and cons of environmental regulations: A case study in a semi-arid environment, Namibia.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Commercial and tourist activities including off-road driving have the potential to cause large scale environmental changes to the fragile ecosystems of the western areas of Namibia. The aim of the study was to develop a generic method to identify activities and areas where off-road driving has been taking place and to assess the environmental sensitivity. The results were used to evaluate the long and short term effects of environmental regulations on spatial planning. Spatial Multi Criteria Evaluation was used as a means to address this complex human-environmental coupled issue by combining spatial information and stakeholder’s expertise. Spatial data was collected, processed to vector data and rasterized. The data was grouped by socio-economic and tourist activities, landscape and ecology and integrated in two GIS models. Criteria weighting and group ranking was based on expert knowledge and stakeholder’s interest. The first model was used to evaluate activities and environmental sensitivity of the area, while the second model generated off-road driving suitability maps for alternative policy visions. The results reveal that a number of socio-economic and tourist activities were carried out in areas of moderate and high environmental sensitivity, hereby resulting in negative effects on the environment. Priority areas for nature conservation were identified along the coast and in proximity to towns where high, uncontrolled tourist activity was overlapping highly sensitive environmental conditions. In contrast, controlled off-road driving activities within areas of low sensitivity were resulting in minor environmental effects. Using spatial planning and environmental regulations to restrict off-road driving areas leads to avoidance and mitigation of negative effects. The results further showed that spatial planning without strict environmental regulation enhances the negative effects. Planning without environmental regulations is possible and adequate in areas of low environmental sensitivity. However, increasing environmental sensitivity requires a planning approach that incorporates the assistance of environmental regulations to restrict areas for off-road driving to less sensitive areas, hereby channelizing their effects.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page