The project addresses the impact of climate change on the value of wildlife and welfare of ranchers. We use a panel Ricardian model to address specification challenges of single year cross sectional survey and unstable results due to repeated cross sectional surveys.
Marine Protected Areas and Small-Scale Fishing Behavior: a Comparative Analysis between South Africa, Tanzania and Costa Rica
This thematic program examines marine resource conservation. This multi-center collaborative project, the first within this thematic program, focuses on improving policy to promote coastal conservation through marine protected areas (MPAs) and related management tools. Because signatories of the Convention on Biological Diversity have committed to establishing MPAs on 10 percent of their coastal waters, a widespread expansion of these areas is underway worldwide.
Despite the centrality of African parks and other protected areas to nature-based tourism, they capture only a fraction of its value. For this reason, national parks and other protected areas have mostly relied on fiscal transfers from the state to fund their conservation activities.
The demand for recreational angling in South Africa: implications of alternative management options for a depleted fishery
Recreational angling is a popular past time in South Africa and has been shown to make a substantial contribution to the economy. However, recreational fishing pressure has led to the severe decline and collapse of many of the species targeted in the fishery. Recent studies suggest that both the numbers many of the fish species targeted have vulnerable life history strategies, with
The role of institutions in wildlife conservation in South Africa and Zimbabwe: a social-ecological systems approach
Community-based wildlife conservation has become popular with both policymakers and development practitioners alike as a vehicle for rural development in Southern Africa. A significant proportion of wildlife in the region is a common pool resource (CPR) and is managed under community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) arrangements.
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.
Farm Diversification as an Adaptation Strategy to Climatic Shocks and Implications for Food Security in Northern Namibia
Limited non-farm opportunities in the rural areas of the developing world, coupled with population growth, means agriculture will continue to play a dominant role as a source of livelihood in these areas. Thus, while rural transformation has dominated recent literature as a way of improving welfare through diversifying into non-farm sectors, improving productivity and resilience to shocks in smallholder agricultural production cannot be ownplayed.
The Short-Run Subsidies, Take-Up, and Long-Run Demand for Off-Grid Solar for the Poor: Evidence from Large-Scale Randomized Trials in Rwanda
Over a billion people lack access to electricity, instead relying on kerosene and other dirty lighting sources, while grid expansion is not expected to keep pace with population growth. Moreover, pneumonia is the leading cause of death for under-fives in the world and kerosene smoke is a significant risk factor. For-profit distribution of low-cost solar LEDs has been suggested as a solution, but adoption remains low, especially by the poorest.
Weather Uncertainty and Demand for Information in Agricultural Technology Adoption: The Case of Namibia
Climate change has compounded the uncertainties inherent in agriculture. Farmers have to make decisions faced with increasingly fluctuating weather, leaving them vulnerable. Access to climate-related information in developing countries, incidentally also the hardest hit by the adverse effects of climate change, is very limited. Given a choice set of technologies that yield different payoffs depending on seasonal weather outcomes, ambiguity arising from imprecise weather information may lead to sub-optimal choices.
Competition and Gender in the Lab vs. Field: Experiments with Off-Grid Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda
Applications of lab experiments to real-world phenomena are limited. We fill the gap by examining how gender attitudes and performance under competitive situations in the lab reflect microenterprise outcomes in the renewable energy sector of Rwanda – a country with progressive gender policies despite its traditional patriarchal setup. We use the standard Niederle and Vesterlund (2007) experimental design in addition to a unique dataset from off-grid microenterprises, managed by entrepreneurs who have been working in mixed and single-sex teams since 2016.
Response time is a possible indicator of the cognitive processes employed by choice experiment participants when making choices. The decision-making literature suggests a positive correlation between slower response time and rational thinking, which is consistent with standard theories of decision-making. The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between response time and respondents’ choices. We disentangle preference and willingness-to-pay estimates and explore whether response time sheds light on these aspects.
Policymakers have little experience regarding designing the right levels of pricing for plastic bags. Prices for bags are generally set low and are largely a symbolic reminder to consumers of the environmental concerns attributed to plastic bag use. The ineffectiveness of charging for bags in the long term, in countries such as South Africa, makes it imperative that we map the demand curve. Getting the price “right” depends on the size of the externality. Charging for plastic bags is therefore an effective nudging policy.
Gender differences in poaching attitudes: Insights from communities in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe living near the great Limpopo
To what extent and how do men and women differ in their attitudes about poaching? Although research suggests that women can be more concerned about environmental degradation than men, inquiries about communities in protected areas are ambiguous: women are disproportionately affected by anti-poaching laws and can have greater motivations to violate rules.We conducted a large-scale survey in communities within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe
In the period 2015-2018, the City of Cape Town experienced a sustained drought that eventually reduced the city’s usable reserves to 10% of capacity. Fortunately, there were individual water meters in many homes, and as part of the city’s response to the water crisis, it was able to implement increasingly stringent water restrictions, using both price (higher water tariffs) and quantity (lower water pressure and legislated constraints on daily use by households).
A synthesis of three decades of socio-ecological change in False Bay, South Africa: setting the scene for multidisciplinary research and management
Over the past three decades, marine resource management has shifted conceptually from top-down sectoral approaches towards the more systems-oriented multi-stakeholder frameworks of integrated coastal management and ecosystem-based conservation. However, the successful implementation of such frameworks is commonly hindered by a lack of cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer, especially between natural and social sciences. This review represents a holistic synthesis of three decades of change in the oceanography, biology and human dimension of False Bay, South Africa.
Cape Town made world headlines in 2018 as a major city on the brink of seeing its taps run dry. Its predicament drew attention to the challenge that water scarcity presents for cities in the 21st century. Globally, over four billion people face severe freshwater shortages and this number is expected to rise (Mekonnen and Hoekstra, 2016). The Water Resources Group (2017) predicts that by 2030 there will be a 40% gap between freshwater supply and demand if business-as-usual water management continues.
Local people’s perceptions about protected areas are important determinants of the success of conservation efforts in Southern Africa, as their perceptions affect their attitude and behaviour towards conservation. As a result, the involvement of local communities in transboundary wildlife conservation is now viewed as an integral part of regional development initiatives involving several countries.
Can Local Communities Afford Full Control Over Wildlife Conservation? The Case of CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe
Wildlife is widely becoming an important vehicle for rural development in most third-world countries across the globe. With wildlife, as with other conservation and development policies, policymakers are usually not informed about the needs and wants of poor rural households and roll out programmes that are not tailor made to suit their desires, which often results in policy failure. We use a survey-based choice experiment in this paper to investigate household preferences for various attributes of a wildlife management scheme.
The power of nudging: Using feedback, competition and responsibility assignment to save electricity in a non-residential setting
We use behavioural insights to design nudges, leveraging social comparison and assignment of responsibility, aimed at reducing electricity consumption in a large provincial government office building with 24 floors, a total of 1008 occupants. Results from a randomized control trial show that floors participating in a treatment with inter-floor competitions and tips reduced energy consumption by 9%, while those that also included floor-wise “energy advocates” reduced energy consumption by 14% over a period of 5 months.
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.
This article examines the effect of commercial bank performance on an indicator of energy efficiency (i.e. energy intensity) while controlling for the mediating effect of political institution. To achieve this goal, the study develops a theoretical model based on the neoclassical theory of the firm that links energy efficiency to bank sector development, and a unique bank-based data by Andrianova et al. (2015) for 43 Sub-Saharan African countries from 1998 to 2012.
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.