Objectives of Pongola ESPA

The strategic objectives of the research included:

  1. To address natural resource and environmental governance issues surrounding the full set of ecosystem services and human wellbeing in an interdisciplinary and innovative manner, bringing together aspects of the natural and social sciences.
  2. To characterise and assess the impact of management decisions and governance frameworks on the state of ecosystem services and associated human wellbeing in the Pongola floodplain system in South Africa.
  3. To develop measures and indicators for ecosystem services, production, livelihoods and human wellbeing in the Pongola floodplain system.
  4. To determine plausible future changes in ecosystem service supply and wellbeing to develop appropriate response strategies which alleviate poverty.
  5. To develop existing and new methods and datasets to understand and assess ecosystem services and their impacts on wellbeing.
  6. To contribute to international debates on ecosystems theory, particularly looking critically at its current linear conceptualization and linkages with environmental governance. This would be achieved by publications, attendance at international meetings and contributions to websites and other electronic media.
  7. To involve local managers, scientists and user representatives from project inception to completion so as to deepen their understanding about the linkages between ecosystem services and human wellbeing. Related to this, the research would aim to strengthen relationships between management authorities in order to achieve integrated environmental management and alleviate poverty.
  8. To create a demand for research and improved awareness of ecosystem issues in South Africa.

Project summary       Project beneficiaries     Schematic PRESPA Map

Project findings and outputs