Associated Projects

All researchers engaged in SAPECS bring to the table one or more in-depth social-ecological case studies or projects. This page describes projects at a variety of scales in the southern African region led by the researchers engaged in SAPECS. Click on the balloons for more information about the projects.

 

CAPE TOWN METROPOLITAN AREA

The consequences of global change for ecosystem service delivery in a biodiverse urban-park matrix

COPThis research programme falls under a broad global environmental change and ecosystem services ACCESS-funded project. The project will set out to articulate the diversity of values, benefits and trade-offs derived from water-related ecosystem services in Table Mountain National Park by residents living in the City of Cape Town. The research aims to answer the following questions: 1) What are the cultural ecosystem service values and benefits derived from a national park by communities residing in a metropolitan setting? Read more…

Improving the governance and economics of protected areas

COPA key concern facing large protected areas and buffer zones in southern Africa is that they are locked in a vicious cycle of rural poverty and environmental degradation. Weak knowledge about the practicalities of micro-governance, devolution and economic policy, weak stakeholder learning systems and a major shortage of professionals with economic, governance and stakeholder skills are central to these challenges. Read more…

 

GARDEN ROUTE

Building resilient landscapes by linking social networks/capital to ecological infrastructure

3This collaborative research project commenced in April 2013 and is funded by the Water Research Commission. The project aims to influence the way natural resource managers and policy makers think about, value and make decisions about ecological infrastructure. The case study area is the Touws River Catchment in the Garden Route and participatory action research will be used to promote meaningful change. Read more…

 

EASTERN CAPE & DRAKENSBERG

Governance of Ecosystem Services under Scenarios of Change

STUDENTS WORKING GROUPThis research programme is a collaboration between the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, and VU Amsterdam in The Netherlands. It currently consists of two complementary PhD projects that aim to explore social-ecological dynamics in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, integrating concepts such as ecosystem services, human well-being, sense of place, transformations and poverty alleviation. Read more…

Ecosystem services in the Upper Thukela

STUDENTS WORKING GROUPSeveral semi-interlinked projects are running in this region with ecosystem services as a common ground. Here are short descriptions about each project with links to the available project sites or contact persons.
1. Assessing the impacts of land degradation on soil functioning and associated ecosystem services and finding ways to rehabilitate the land (for crop and grazing), to foster carbon sequestration for mitigating effects of and adapting to climate change.  Read more…

Jonga phambili Sinethemba – Moving Forward with Hope 

workshop 2The project supported 12 related studies (mainly postgraduate research projects) that have helped to build a very intricate and detailed picture of livelihoods, vulnerability and change in the communal areas of the Eastern Cape in two different contexts. The research has been undertaken in two sites in the rural Eastern Cape, South Africa; Lesseyton outside of Queenstown and Gatyana near Willowvale. The peri-urban nature of Lesseyton and the more isolated rural setting of Gatyana have resulted in some interesting and important contrasts in the findings. Read more…

 

LIMPOPO & LOWVELD

Resilience in the Olifants Basin – part of RESILIM 

Lower Olifants  feb 2008 (6)RESILIM (Resilience in the Limpopo Basin) is a five year USAID-funded program running until the end of 2017, aiming to enhance resilience in catchment communities to climate and environmental change and to improve biodiversity outcomes, with a special emphasis on building capacity. An important focus within RESILIM is trans-boundary governance, in the broadest sense of the word ‘boundary’. Read more…

 

MULTIPLE SITES

Developing a market for ecosystem goods and services following the restoration of natural capital

STUDENTS WORKING GROUPEcological restoration, the process of assisting the recovery of ecosystems that have been “degraded, damaged, or destroyed” (SER, 2004), is now internationally recognised as a key priority, alongside conservation initiatives, in the quest for sustainable social-ecological systems.  The science and practice of restoration has progressed at a significant pace over the past few decades, but substantial challenges remain particularly with respect to scaling-up and financing of large scale initiatives. Read more…

Project for Ecosystem Services (ProEcoServ)

STUDENTS WORKING GROUPProEcoServ aims to enhance the integration of ecological infrastructure and ecosystem services into national development planning and policy with the involvement of national and local stakeholders. It is a global project with an umbrella approach, under which four pilot countries with existing skills and programs in ecosystem assessment are developing site and policy-specific activities and tools for decision making within a joint programmatic framework. Read more…

Vital Signs Africa

STUDENTS WORKING GROUPThis is the prototype for an integrated monitoring  system at regional scale, which combines observations of human well-being, ecosystem services and agriculture. Its long gestation, like PECS, traces back to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, where we wished we had high-resolution, co-located datasets for specific places in order to address issues of tradeoffs between various development activities, biodiversity and HWB. Read more…

Complexity, Networks, and Spatial Resilience of Protected Areas STUDENTS WORKING GROUP

This research programme focuses on the concept of spatial resilience. This body of theory recognizes that spatial variation (e.g., context, gradients, connectivity, network membership, and spatial feedbacks) changes how complex systems adapt, maintain or return to a desired state, and ultimately persist. My students and I combine tools from complexity theory and other disciplines to explore the spatial resilience of social-ecological systems (SESs). Read more…

Water Resources Management in South Africa: Towards a New Paradigm

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe “New Paradigm” project is a collaborative research programme of the above organisations which recognises and takes account of the inherent complexity of water related systems. This work is underpinned by the key concepts of complex socio-ecological systems (SES), trans-disciplinarity, resilience and strategic adaptive management. The project will be organised through research teams, case studies, specific eutrophication, microbial pollution, and resource protection focus areas, an integrated community-based response process, and a process of testing principles derived from project case studies in additional regions. Read more…

Ecosystem Services in the Anthropocene: Anticipating and                                     Managing Regime Shifts

CaptureThis project focuses on the risk of transgressing critical thresholds or tipping points in social‐ecological systems that could trigger catastrophic regime shifts– large, abrupt and potentially irreversible changes – with respect to critical ecosystem services such as crop production, fisheries, and climate regulation. Such shifts can have major implications for human economies, health and well‐being, especially for poorer, marginalized groups in society. Read more…

Seeds of Good Anthropocenes: A southern African perspective

We are bombarded with negative visions of the future, which may inhibit our ability to move towards a positive future for the Earth and humanity. In this project we aim to solicit, explore, and develop a suite of alternative, plausible visions of “Good Anthropocenes” – positive visions of futures that are socially and ecologically desirable, just, and sustainable, specifically from a southern African perspective. Read more…