Prioritising restoration measures to protect ecosystem services in the Western Cape

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Ryan Blanchard

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The Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning commissioned a study aimed at guiding investments in ecological infrastructure (EI) so that they increase social-ecological system resilience. This presentation reports on one component of this study which prioritised EI for investment in restoration and protection. Stakeholder workshops were held to identify the key EI and to prioritise the threats to the delivery of benefits from that EI, including alien plant invasions, inland water ecosystem degradation and rangeland degradation. The workshops formulated a vision for this investment: By 2040, people of the Western Cape live and organise themselves in a way that promotes healthy and resilient ecological infrastructure, so that it yields goods and services that support physical, psychological and spiritual well-being in the face of population pressure, rapid urbanisation and climate change. The prioritisation focused on the biophysical factors, identifying catchments where high yields of benefits are coupled with societal demand for those benefits and where degradation of EI places those benefits at risk. The study divided the province’s catchments into 6 clusters based on their biogeographical characteristics and how these determine the suites of benefits. A multi-criterion modelling system was used to identify priority areas for different benefits within each of the 6 clusters and for the province as a whole, with a strong emphasis on water and livelihood security.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration