Newsletter update 2013-04 Africa


Newsletter update 2013-04 Africa

Thank you for your on-going support of the RNC Alliance follows is news from Africa:

RNC update from James Blignaut - South Africa

RNC update from Milton and Dean - Renu-Karoo - South Africa


Watch for updates from other regions.
Enjoy the read!


RNC update from James Blignaut - South Africa

by Prof James Blignaut - Dept Economics, University of Pretoria, ASSET Research and Beatus
www.assetresearch.org.za
jnblignaut@gmail.com

In a developing country balancing food, water and energy security issues, especially in the context of chronic and endemic scarcity and poverty remains a challenge. Restoration-related activities must therefore always be seen against this background and hence the fact that research into any form of food, water and/or energy security can often be seen as addressing some facet of restoration. This is more so since, as a good management principle, the number of instruments at one’s disposal should always be either equal or more than the number of objectives. Having three of four objectives, but one tool or instrument, is unlikely to result in any form of success. Having more tools/instruments than objectives is therefore very important. In the past restoration has been seen as an objective requiring a tool, the tool being restoration ecology or related sciences with respect to addressing the technocratic challenges of the biophysical restoration. What if, however, restoration per se becomes a tool/instrument towards addressing other concerns, such as water, energy and food security? By switching restoration from an objective to an instrument one not only reduces the need for more tools and having more questions than answers, one is also removing restoration from being a cost-only item (or being perceived as such), an environmental hole in which money has to be thrown. This implies restoration is becoming a value-adding instrument towards effecting desirable socio-ecological and economic change. This is a radical departure from the conventional or the norm.

The RNC network in South Africa is therefore continually pursuing ways to integrate restoration into formal policy and decision-making from the vantage point of restoration being a solution to a far greater socio-political problem, namely poverty and the lack of quality of life among many. As such the research horizon spans several different topics as reflected by the topics of some of the recent papers (see list below).

The RNC network is also actively pursuing the need to develop the concept of “restoration economics”. That is economics but with a strong restoration and hence forward looking mind set and consciousness within the context of complex and dynamic systems. This would imply the use of conventional economic project appraisal methodologies, but applied in a way that reflects scarcity, and the fact that ecosystems renders benefits, that are life-essential flows, which are, in-turn, heavily influenced by the quality and the quantity of the supporting stock of natural capital.

1. van Oosterzee, P., Blignaut, J., and Bradshaw, C.J.A. 2012. iREDD hedges against avoided deforestation’s unholy trinity. Conservation Letters. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2012.00237.x, 1–8.

2. Inglesi, R. and Blignaut, J.N. 2012. Electricity intensities of the OECD and South Africa: A comparison. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(10): 4491–4499.

3. De Wit, M.P., Van Zyl, H., Crookes, D.J., Blignaut, J., Jayiya, T., Goiset, V., Mahumani, B. 2012. Including the economic value of well-functioning urban ecosystems in financial decisions: Evidence from Cape Town. Ecosystem Services, 2:38–44.

4. Blignaut, J.N. 2012. Climate change: The opportunity cost of Medupi and Kusile power stations. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 23(4):67-75.

5. Inglesi-Lotz, R. & Blignaut, J.N. 2012. Estimating the opportunity cost of water for the Kusile and Medupi coal-fired electricity power plants in South Africa. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 23(4):76-84.

6. Nkambule, N. and Blignaut, J.N. 2012. The externality cost of coal mining. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 23(4):85-93.

7. Blignaut, J., Esler, K., de Wit, M., le Maitre, D., Milton, S. and Aronson, J. 2013. Economic development and the restoration of natural capital. Current Opinion in environmental Sustainability, 5:94–101; http://dx.doi.org.

8. Cartwright, A., Blignaut, J., de Wit, M., Goldberg, K., Mander, M., O'Donoghue, S., and Roberts, D. 2013. Economics of climate change adaptation on a municipal level under conditions of uncertainty and resource constraints: The case of eThekwini, South Africa. Environment & urbanization, 25(1):1-18. http://eau.sagepub.com/

9. Crookes, D, Blignaut, J, de Wit, M, Esler, K, Le Maitre, D., Milton, S., Mitchell S., Cloete J., de Abreu, Fourie (nee Vlok), H., Gull, K., Marx, D., Mugido, W., Ndhlovu, T., Nowell, M., Pauw, M., and Rebelo, A. Dynamic modelling to assess economic viability and risk trade-offs for eight ecological restoration projects in a water-scarce developing country. Journal of Environmental Management, 120:138-147 http://dx.doi.org/


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RNC update from Milton and Dean - Renu-Karoo - South Africa

by Sue Milton-Dean (PhD) & Richard Dean (PhD)
RENU-KAROO Veld Restoration cc
Renu-Karoo Nursery Corner of Kerk & van Dyk Streets, Prince Albert 6930
Karoo veld assessment, vegetation surveys, indigenous seed and plants for Karoo restoration and landscaping
Wolwekraal Nature Reserve (Cape Nature)
Supported by Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation
http://www.renu-karoo.co.za
e-mail renukaroo@gmail.com

Renu-Karoo update







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