Strengthening the evidence for building resilience in ecosystem-based adaptation in Namaqualand: Ecological infrastructure, livelihoods, and benefits of natural resource management interventions

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Halcyone Muller

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Conservation South Africa (CSA) is an affiliate of Conservation International. CSA’s key focus is restoration of South Africa’s rangelands and sustainable land use management, working in South Africa’s biodiversity hotspots and promoting regional economic development that values nature. The Namakwa District of the Northern Cape is likely to experience increasing temperatures, aridity, and water stress in the face of climate change. Adaptation strategies, including Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), will be critical to sustain agriculture and maintain ecological infrastructure. It is cost-effective to build farming communities’ resilience to climate change by restoring nature’s capacity to retain soil, provide fodder, replenish aquifers, store water, and reduce impacts of floods. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa has been successfully implementing a Natural Resource Management (NRM) programme that has been contributing to restoration of rangelands for decades. The NRM programme, although contributing towards adaptation, is not explicitly demonstrating and measuring the impact of its intervention in terms of Ecosystem-based Adaptation. The programme as an EbA also has significant potential to unlock further investment into ecological Infrastructure and to support socioeconomic benefits for NRM workers and surrounding communities. A case study conducted by CSA in the Namaqualand (Northern cape), shows how NRM programmes implemented through partners within South Africa’s semi-arid rangelands are through low cost interventions supporting Ecosystem-based Adaptation, both from a biophysical and socioeconomic perspective.  Recommendations are discussed as to how the NRM programme can provide EbA to benefit effectiveness and unlock further investment to build resilience in communities.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration