What is the real cost of pursuing socio-ecological thinking at the catchment scale? Using the Tsitsa Project, South Africa, as an example

Authors:
Michael Braack

Publication Date:
2019

Abstract/Summary:
The use of socio-ecological frameworks grounded on bottom-up approaches is widely promoted by conservation practitioners and planners. Rehabilitation with the aim of restoration needs to be resilient and must ensure sustainable livelihoods. But what does restoration based on socio-ecological thinking really cost? An example of this is the Tsitsa project, an initiative spearheaded by South Africa’s Government through the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Chief Directorate of Natural Resource Management. The Tsitsa project vision is to: “Support sustainable livelihoods for local people through integrated landscape management that strives for resilient social-ecological systems and which fosters equity in access to ecosystem services.“ The key features of the upper Tsitsa River catchment in the Eastern Cape Province (with an approximate area of 5,000 km²) are high levels of landscape degradation and extremely dispersive subsoils, which generate large silt loads in the rivers. The Tsitsa project provides a holistic and integrated natural resource management plan (within the context of the Land Degradation Neutrality framework under Sustainable Development Goal 15, specifically pursuing planning to avoid degradation) at the catchment scale. The project seeks to harmonise the priorities and wishes of the local residents and to integrate the advice of scientists and engineers. The rehabilitation plan has projected a US$2 billion investment spread over the next 10-20 years. Between 2015 and 2019, the engagement, monitoring, and learning components will cost US$3.7 million, with a total projected cost of about US$6.9 million over 8 years.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Source:
socio-ecological, South Africa, livelihood, community, management plan