Dr. Jon Barnes died unexpectedly at his home in Windhoek, Namibia on 14th September 2014. A highly respected natural resource economist and leading thinker on the socioeconomic dimensions of conservation in southern Africa, Jon made a huge contribution to his field in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, set up a national environmental economics program in Namibia running now for 20 years, and trained and mentored local cohorts of young economists.
With postgraduate training in both ecology and economics, Jon spent 12 years as a practicing ecologist, and a further 28 years as an environmental and natural resource economist. He worked from 1986 to 1993 as an advisor to the Government of Botswana on natural resource management matters, and from 1993 to 2008 as advisor on environmental affairs to the Government of Namibia. While in Botswana, he developed and managed a Resource Economics Unit for the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and provided on-the-job training to local, graduate counterparts. Similarly, in Namibia he developed and coordinated an Environmental Economics Unit, which set-up a program of environmental research, policy analysis and natural resource accounting. As Co-Director of the firm Design and Development Services, Jon undertook numerous consulting assignments ranging from a major economic valuation of wetlands in Zambia, Namibia, Malawi and Mozambique to economic and policy analyses of land-use scenarios in Botswana and Namibia.
Jon’s passing leaves a massive void in the environmental sector in Namibia and southern Africa overall. He will be hugely missed by his family, friends, colleagues, students and all who knew him.