The Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN) empowers decision-makers at all levels through its research, training and consultancy activities, thereby fostering sustainable development in Namibia.
The environment of the location
The DRFN is based in Windhoek but implements projects all over Namibia. The Namibian climate varies from arid and semi-arid to subtropical with the generally temperate desert coast offering sometimes fog-ridden days with temperatures between 5° C and 20°C.
The central, southern and coastal areas constitute some of the most arid landscapes south of the Sahara. The hottest months are January and February, with average day temperatures varying between 9°C to 30°C. During the winter months that stretch from May to September minimum temperatures can fluctuate between -6°C and 10°C at night to recover to 20°C after 11:00 in the day. Frost occurs over large areas of the country during winter, but in general winter days are clear, cloudless and sunny.
Overall Namibia is a summer rainfall area, with limited showers occurring from October and building up to peak in January and February.
Short history and milestones
The DRFN's office in Windhoek was established in1990. The DRFN's vision is to be Namibia's premier sustainability organisation, underpinned by research, training and consulting activities that focus on all aspects of national and organisational sustainability, and integrated natural resource management, to the benefit of all decision-makers. The DRFN does not - as the name may indicate - limit its activities to 'researching the desert': we endeavour to provide objective, relevant and professional services by supporting decision-makers of all walks of life - from communities, to traditional and local authorities, to the highest decision-making bodies and individuals in government and the private sector. This is achieved by investigating, developing and implementing scientific, fact-based and analytical projects and development options that form the backbone of national and regional policy development, planning and project implementation, thereby contributing to Namibia's sustainable development. The DRFN has three core specialisations, undertaken in the so-called 'DRFN desks'; namely the Water, Energy and Land desks.
Since 1998, the DRFN has a joint venture agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism that regulates the operations of the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre (GTRC). GTRC has been conducting environmental research in the Namib Desert since 1962.