Understanding the role of ecosystems services in getting to more democratised natural resources

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6 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 11 μήνες)

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Understanding the role of ecosystems services in getting to more democratised natural resources
governance

Derick DU TOIT & Sharon POLLARD

The Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD)

P O Box 1919

Hoedspruit

1380

South Africa

E mail:
derick@award.org.za

www.award.org.za


The imperative to democratise the governance of natural resources in South Africa over
almost

twenty years has led the to the application of a number of conceptual frameworks,
e
cosystems
goods and s
ervices approach
es

being one of these.

During this

session
we present a
specific
project that has
develop
ed

and test
ed

a
n approach
for the
collaborative

decision making

by
building a shared appreciation of the risks and benefits of
meeting
,
or not meeting
,

the provisions of Environmental Water Requirements
(EWRs)

through an
understanding of the associated
water
-
related

ecosystem services.
The context of the application of
this framework is therefore that of water resources management

in stressed transboundary
catchments of north eastern South Africa.

The conceptual approach taken breaks from current approaches to valuing ecosystems services
based on the idea that (financial) values can be assigned to, or
captured

in, certain ecosystem
s
processes. Rather their value is seen as the emergent outcome of a process of valuing by
stakeholders informed by, but not restricted to, best available science. Moreover we explore how
institutions can

design
,

in context specific ways
, processes

that bu
ild local ownership
and
understanding that recognise livelihood dependency on ecosystems services from the outset. The
intention is for
governance
to

explicitly appreciate ecosystems services in its planning for various
regional challenges (e.g.

poverty al
leviation) in the context of
river basins.

In this session we will share with participants the various methods that we have employed in
developing an understanding of the role that
ecosystems

services can play in
contributing

to broad
-
based governmental procedures and plans. We also
reflect

on some of the challenges that some of
these methods present and
show how the team responded.