Ecosystems provide a range of essential services which underpin human well-being (e.g.
Evaluation of Dry-lands Ecosystem Services in the area surrounding the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa
This project is concerned with identifying, assessing and valuing ecosystem services found on the section of land belonging to the Khomani San contractual park and their farms.
This project explores whether the adoption of new farming practices is decreasing in ambiguity aversion, while conversely, the uptake of insurance is increasing in ambiguity aversion. Such a result will strengthen the argument in favour of mechanisms of risk diffusion, such as insurance products for small-scale farmers.
Estimating Optimal Conservation Fees in the Presence of Land Restitution in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park between Botswana and South Africa
This project thrives to determine how the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park can serve as a drive in tourism that generates economic and social benefits to land claimants and as a result maximize the positive spill over effects on the Khomani San people.
The objectives of this study are to provide a spatial analysis of the total economic value of the SA coast, focusing on the values generated by different types of protected areas versus other stretches of coast.
An applied economics survey among South African subsistence farmers
A tool to shape public policies?
In this research project EfD aims to draw lessons from land reforms in several Asian and African countries. The findings will be presented in a book edited by Professors Stein Holden and Keijiro Otsuka and titled "Land Reforms in Asia and Africa - Impacts on Poverty and Natural Resource Management".
Wetlands are considered to perform a number of ecosystem services, including the improvement of water quality. However, few empirical studies have been carried out on the capacity of wetlands to perform a water treatment function, or on the demand for this function, with the result that most estimates of the value of this service are based on a weak foundation. Furthermore, the measurement of this function is confounded by the complications in trying to assess water quality entering and leaving wetlands because of surface to groundwater interactions.
Scepticism with respect to the consequences of climate change is declining worldwide as this issue takes a prominent place on global political agenda. However, the overall extent and magnitude of climate change consequences are still extremely uncertain. As such, any economic analysis of climate change must take cognisance of the economics of risk and uncertainty.
The optimal pricing of national parks with nationality-based price discrimination and park substitution
Nature based tourism is a popular and rapidly growing industry in South Africa. Developing nations are finding it useful to use their natural resources in order to create competitive advantage over the developed world.
Climate change in an experimental setting: The effect of stochastic future disasters and country vulnerability on cooperation.
In this project we are investigate the trade off between countries’ investments in adaptation and mitigation. We study how the investment behaviour in these two types of investments differs between types of countries (where countries differ in terms of vulnerability).
Abalone poaching, methamphetamine use, criminal activity in South Africa and the associated implications for resource management
This study seeks to explore the relationship between abalone poaching, use of methamphetamine and crime activity in the coastal communities of South Africa; and the associated implications for the management of the resource.
Using what amounts to a field experiment we analyse whether the electricity consumption patterns of consumers are altered by the experience of blackouts and the exposure to Eskom’s communication. Secondly; we analyse bargaining experiments focussed on disputes concerning conservation-land owned by the South African National Defence Force and the conservation agencies.
Implementing environmentally responsible investment strategies (ERI)in the South African investment and financial sector
The research project led by Dr Stephanie Giamporcaro focuses on Environmental Finance and Environmental Investment. The research program aims thus to explore how environmentally responsible investment approaches are implemented currently in South Africa and how the implementation of these strategies in the country’s financial and investment sector can be facilitated in order to promote a sustainable growth in South Africa and a sustainable use of natural resources .
Read about what EfD centers around the world have been up to during the last year in terms of research highlights and how our research relate to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Watershed management is a complex activity with constraints on funding and human resources in many parts of the world, and there is a need for global effort to identify strategies that can work. To complement regulatory approaches, attention is now also being given to market-based incentives because of their potential cost-effectiveness. This study seeks to provide impetus to the use of the most successful market-based incentives to promote sustainable watershed practices through strengthening and increasing direct participation
South African researchers integral to UN ‘natural capital accounting’ pilot by Leonie Joubert Natural environments in and around the South African coastal city of Durban provide goods and services to the national economy that amount to an estimated US$ 350 million (R 4.2 billion) each year. This ‘conservative estimate’ includes the value of resources that people collect from their natural surroundings, such as wild-harvested foods, firewood and timber, or water taken from rivers for home use.
Using a two-step system generalized method of moment (GMM) technique and a panel data for 43 sub-Sahara African countries from 1998 to 2012, this article examines the drivers of energy intensity. Speci fically, the article tests two hypotheses: (1) improved banking performance does not foster energy efficiency improvements, and (2) institutional quality (democracy) does not compromise the energy-saving role of improved banking performance. The study uses a unique bank-based data by Andrianova et al.
The use of small-scale off-grid renewable energy for rural electrification is now seen as part of the sustainable energy solutions. The expectation from such small-scale investment is that it can meet the basic energy needs of a household and subsequently improve someaspects of household welfare. However, these stated benefits remain largely hypothetical because there are data and methodological challenges in existing literature attempting to isolate such impact.
Life Cycle Cost and Return on Investment as complementary decision variables for urban flood risk management in developing countries
Herein we investigate Life Cycle Cost (LCC) and Return on Investment (ROI) as potential decision variables for evaluating the economic performance (ROI) and financial feasibility (LCC) of a set of flood mitigation strategies over time. The main novelty of this work is the application of LCC and ROI analyses at the urban level to an asset portfolio of flood-prone buildings. Reduced flood damage is treated probabilistically as avoided costs (LCC analysis) and returns (ROI analysis), respectively.
Risk Preferences and the Poverty Trap: A Look at Farm Technology Uptake amongst Smallholder Farmers in the Matzikama Municipality
This study looks at the determinants of farm technology uptake, with attention to farmers’ risk preference and income. We use a field experiment to elicit measures of risk aversion, loss aversion, and non-linear weights of probability. We then relate these measures to the uptake of drought-resistant and improved seeds. In light of the poverty trap theory, we also consider the role that income plays in risk preference. Our findings suggest that farm risk management policies need to take into account the role of risk and loss preferences in uptake decisions.
We used locally-sourced and other relevant information to value ecosystem services provided by South Africa's terrestrial, freshwater and estuarine habitats. Our preliminary estimates suggest that these are worth at least R275 billion per annum to South Africans. Notwithstanding benefits to the rest of the world, natural systems provide a major source of direct income to poor households, and generate significant value in the economy through tourism and property markets, as well as providing considerable non-market benefits. Higher values
Determinants of Successful Collective Management of Forest Resources: Evidence from Kenyan Community Forest Associations
Participation of local communities in management and utilization of forest resources through collective action has become widely accepted as a possible solution to failure of centralized, top-down approaches to forest conservation. Developing countries have thus resorted to devolution of forest management through initiatives such as Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and Joint Forest Management (JFM). In Kenya, under such initiatives, communities have been able to self-organize into community forest associations (CFAs).
Africa is endowed with an incredible amount of natural resources of which the extractive sector is a key component. Unfortunately, however, the continent is characterized by a paradox of plenty or resource curse, depicting a situation of abundant resources that have not translated into economic growth and prosperity for the population. The potential role of the extractive sector is further affected by global volatilities. This article reviews the importance of the extractive sector to selected African countries. It identifies sources of
This paper uses a bio-economic model to analyze wildlife conservation in two habitats adjacent to a national park by two types of communities in Zimbabwe. One community is made up of peasant farmers operating under a benefit-sharing scheme such as CAMPFIRE, while the other is made up of commercial farmers practicing game farming in a conservancy. Both communities exploit wildlife by selling hunting licenses to foreign hunters but with different levels of success. The park agency plays a central role by authorizing the harvest quota for each community.
Response to climate risks among smallholder farmers in Malawi: A multivariate probit assessment of the role of information, household demographics, and farm characteristics
Why do many smallholder farmers fail to adopt what appear to be relatively simple agronomic or management practices which can help them cope with climate-induced stressors? Using household and plot level data collected in 2011, we implement a multivariate probit model to assess the determinants of farmer adaptation behavior to climatic risks and the relative contribution of information, credit and education on the probability of adopting specific practices in response to adverse changes in weather patterns.
Predation of livestock in South Africa has been estimated to cost in excess of ZAR1 billion in losses per year and has complex social, economic and ecological drivers and consequences. In this context, livestock can be broadly defined as domesticated animals and wildlife (the former excluding poultry and the latter including ostrich, Struthio camelus) managed for commercial purposes or human benefit in free-ranging (or semi-free ranging) circumstances that render them vulnerable to predation. This conflict between livestock
Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is increasingly being promoted as a cost-effective means of adaptation to climate change. However, in spite of considerable international press, there is still little evidence to substantiate this claim. This study proposes a method through which the cost-effectiveness of EbA strategies can be evaluated against alternative adaptation options, and contributes to South African literature on the subject. The potential cost-effectiveness of wetland restoration is assessed as a means of
Local communities’ valuation of environmental amenities around the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Southern Africa
This paper seeks to examine how communities value a variety of dryland environmental amenities provided by the Kgalagadi Transfontier Park where there is an interest in limiting their access, both in order to protect the environment and in order to make it more attractive for tourists. This is done using a choice experiment, which targeted households in the Kgalagadi area.
Sharing conservation revenue with communities surrounding parks could demonstrate the link between ecotourism and local communities’ economic development, promote a positive view of land restitution involving parks, help address skewed distribution of income in the vicinity of parks and act as an incentive for local communities to participate in conservation even more. This article estimates the visitation demand function for Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) in order to
Assessing Gender Inequality in Food Security amongst Small-holder Farm Households in urban and rural South Africa
With the ongoing changes in climate, household food insecurity is likely to be more widespread in most small-holder and subsistence farm households in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the existence and extent of gendered household food security—or lack thereof—remains unclear.
Read about EfD research applied around the developing world during 2017. Take a look at each EfD Center's Stories!
A linear public good experiment adopted from Holt and Laury [1997. Classroom games: Voluntary provision of a public good. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(4), 209–215.] has been employed to investigate strategic behaviour in pollution abatement among African climate decision-makers. The experiment consisted of three groups, of which groups 2 and 3 received one and two treatments, respectively.
‘Ground-Truthing’ Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from South Africa and Uganda
A new methodology, Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF), leverages open-source information on development finance by non-transparent, non-Western donors. If such open-source methods prove to be valid and reliable, they can enhance our understanding of the causes and consequences of development finance from non-transparent donors including, but not limited to, China. But open-source methods face charges of inaccuracy. In this study we create and field-test a replicable ‘ground-truthing’ methodology to
Small-holder Farming, Food Security and Climate Change in South Africa: Male-Female and Urban-Rural Differences
With ongoing climate change, food insecurity is likely to become more widespread in most small-holder and subsistence farm households in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the existence and extent of gendered food (in)security remains unclear. This study extends existing knowledge by assessing gender inequality in food (in)security amongst small-holder farm households in urban and rural areas of South Africa. To do so, we use the gender of the head of household in a treatment effects framework.
African wildlife conservation has been transformed, shifting from a traditional, state-managed government approach to a broader governance approach with a wide range of actors designing and implementing wildlife policy. The most widely popularized approach has been that of community managed nature conservancies. The knowledge of how institutions function in relation to humans and their use of the environment is critical to the design and implementation of effective conservation.
Climate change and South Africa’s commercial farms: an assessment of impacts on specialised horticulture, crop, livestock and mixed farming systems
South Africa, a main food exporter in SADC, is characterised by a dual agricultural economy consisting of a well-developed commercial sector and smallholder, often subsistence, farming. Using the Ricardian cross-sectional framework, we examine the impact of climate change on a nationwide sample of crop, horticulture, livestock and mixed commercial farming systems.
Decentralization, market integration and efficiency-equity trade-offs: Evidence from Joint Forest Management in Ethiopian villages
Extant literature on Joint Forest Management (JFM) impact evaluation has concluded that it generally does not provide sufficient incentives to justify the costs that forest use restrictions impose on local people. However, there is a dearth of evidence concerning whether alternative JFM intervention with improved market linkages for non-timber forest products has similar implications.
Inshore line fish stocks are severely depleted in South Africa. Although management efforts have addressed pressures from the commercial and subsistence sectors, management of the recreational sector still needs to be addressed. Evidence suggests that spatial management measures would be more successful than traditional size and bag limits. In order to inform a spatial approach, this study investigated the determinants of temporal and spatial variability in angler distribution around the coast.
Zimbabwe’s community-based conservation model, which brings together peasant farmers in a tourism-focused approach to wildlife management, has not reduced the community’s poaching pressure on wildlife stocks in the protected area of Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) as much as intended.
Why Anglers Fish Where They Do Knowing South Africa’s Preferred Fishing Spots Can Help Manage Fish Stocks
Recreational angling in South Africa is not well monitored, even though recreational fishing contributes to over-exploitation of line fish stocks. This is because authorities don’t have the resources or political will to patrol the entire coastline. This study shows that anglers tend to seek out fishing spots where they are likely to catch the most fish. If enforcement officials target these ‘hotspots’, they can monitor whether anglers are adhering to their permit conditions, which limit the number and size of fish that they are allowed to catch.
Economic Value of the Cape’s Beautiful Coast: A Study of the ‘Amenity’ Value of the Kogelberg, in South Africa
The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is a 100 km long coastal stretch of towering mountains and craggy beaches about an hour’s drive east of Cape Town. The dramatic landscape, rare botanical diversity and ocean ‘playground’ are big drawcards for tourists, and contribute to property values. A recent study of the ‘amenity’ value of this stretch of coastline shows that many local visitors regard it as more desirable to visit than other stretches of South African coastline, and many are return visitors. Homeowners are willing to pay a premium for properties with sea views or access.
This paper uses a bioeconomic model to analyse wildlife conservation in two habitats adjacent to a national park by two types of communities in the context of Southern Africa. One community is made up of peasant farmers operating under a benefit-sharing scheme (CAMPFIRE) while the other is made up of commercial farmers practising game farming in a conservancy (the Save Valley Conservancy). Both communities exploit wildlife by selling hunting licenses to foreign hunters but with different levels of success.
Decentralization, Market Integration, and Efficiency-Equity Trade-Offs: Evidence from Joint Forest Management in Ethiopian Villages
Extant literature on Joint Forest Management (JFM) impact evaluation has concluded that it generally does not provide sufficient incentives to justify the costs that forest use restrictions impose on local people. However, there is a dearth of evidence concerning whether alternative JFM intervention with improved market linkages for non-timber forest products has similar implications. In this study, we evaluated the income and distributive effects of a JFM program in Ethiopia in which additional support was provided for improved market linkages for non-timber forest products (NTFPs).
This study used a sample of 336 households and community-level data from 30 communities around Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe to analyse the association between institutions and cooperation (defined as the ability to self-organise) and the relationship between cooperation and success of biodiversity outcomes.
When poor rural families in Zimbabwe are able to collect bushmeat, it may allow them to increase their household income through selling the meat within their communities. This means that, if policies help support communities’ access to wildlife, they can address poverty and decrease income inequality in these areas.
Multiple and Concurrent Sex Partnerships and Social Norms: Young Adults’ Sexual Relationships in the Metropolitan Communities of Cape Town, South Africa
Even though antiretroviral treatment is becoming more efficient and available, new HIV infections still occur, and this is particularly evident in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Heterosexual intercourse is still the main mode of HIV transmission in the region, and multiple and concurrent sex partners are arguably crucial for the spread of the epidemic.
Investigating the sensitivity of household food security to agriculture-related shocks and the implication of social and natural capital
This paper examines the impact of agriculture-related shocks on consumption patterns of rural farming households using 3 years of data from South Africa. We make two key observations.
This paper demonstrates the importance of wildlife in the portfolio of environmental income in the livelihoods of poor rural communities living adjacent to a national park. The results show that wealthier households consume more wildlife products in total than do relatively poor households. However, poorer households derive greater proportional benefit than wealthier households from the consumption of wildlife resources. Excluding wildlife understates the relative contribution of environmental resources while at the same time overstating the relative contribution of farm and wage income.