The use of natural capital for economic development in Namibia - a bioeconomic equilibrium analysis using the example of fisheries

Etti Winter



Marine fish resources are classified as global commons. Accordingly, national governments are committed to sustainably manage fish stocks living within the jurisdiction of their exclusive economic zone. Efficient use of scarce biological resources implies abstraction of maximum resource rents. The performed scientific work quantifies resource rents gained by commercial fisheries in Namibia and discusses strategies for sustainable development of the country that currently holds the lowest ranking in worldwide income disparity. For this purpose a hybrid social accounting matrix (SAM) is developed following the UN concept of integrated environmental and economic accounting (SEEA). On the basis of the created data framework the author developed an applied general equilibrium model with special focus on specifying flexible non-homothetic consumer and bilateral import demand systems. The author advanced a procedure for calibrating a set of parameters for the Normalized Quadratic-Quadratic Expenditure System (NQQES) that satisfy the requirements of economic theory. Parallel, partial bioeconomic fishery model are established for analyzing management regimes of renewable resources. The methodological concept is further supplemented by game theoretic applications. Recent research outcomes of coalition theory are tested with respect to evaluating the potential of cooperative management and to derive recommendations for negotiating the allocation of user rights. Until today the commercial fishery and the tourism sector respectively reflect the dualistic character of the country. Both sectors heavily depend on natural capital and its quality. The thesis is investigating whether existing natural resources, namely fish and wildlife might support development by simultaneously removing social injustice.

It was found that in Namibia resource rents are still left to a few privileged established enterprises, and that the aim of black economic empowerment via reallocation of quotas is not reached. As a consequence of missing duties for financial record keeping and resulting transfer pricing enterprises can easily conceal realized profits. In addition the often outdated fishing fleet operates inefficiently. In terms of capturing maximum resource rents for the benefit of all Namibians, negotiations on economic partnership agreements with the EU should be reviewed. Game theoretic analysis indicates the potential of a win-win situation of a coalition between two asymmetric players. In case of establishing individual transferable quota regimes (ITQs), model simulations indicate the welfare improving effect of royalties. This is explained by the positive effect of user fees on controlling quota prices and countervailing high personal discount rates of cost efficient entrepreneurs, who are supposed to dissipate future revenues. In Namibia, the strategy of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) reveals promising options. Namibia’s natural landscape provides the opportunity for an extension of CBNRM. The experience of academics as well as practitioners favor hybrid governance architecture opposed to land management regimes controlled by central government. Diversified nature-based tourism might fits in with the international willingness to pay for biodiversity conservation. Finance could be available by the transfer of resource rents. Mathematical planning tools are key instruments to assess impacts on the allocation of user rights and the distribution of benefits from natural capital. Furthermore, visualization via a green SAM might move decision-makers in the direction of sustainability. This argument also holds for game theoretic applications. More research is needed in the field of connecting different methods, particularly combining the models of natural science and economics.

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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Published: 02.11.2011