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Economic and Livelihood Value of Ecosystems

We are amongst the most experienced in the region in the application of resource economics techniques for the valuation of ecosystem services. We value the consumptive use of resources, recreation and tourism, ecosystem functioning, and the intangible values of biodiversity. Our valuation studies are uniquely grounded in a thorough understanding of the underlying biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We assess of the contribution of natural resources such as fisheries to household livelihoods in subsistence-based communities. We use a range of social survey methods, often in collaboration with sociologists. We also analyse the relationships between households, natural resources and other factors.


  • The nature, distribution and value of aquatic ecosystem services of the Olifants, Inkomati and Usutu to Mhlatuze water management areas - Final report 2010 (EGSA Project)  Download PDF [33 MB]
  • Sustainable Financing Plan for Namibias Protected Area System -5 Feb.2010 (Ministry of Environment and Tourism) Download PDF (2.7MB)
  • Economic value of Namibias parks - a case for investment (Turpie et al. 2010) Download PDF (2.7MB)
  • Rapid methodology for assessing wetland value and socio-economic dependence on wetlands (Water Research Commission)
  • Factors influencing household dependence on natural resources in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, and implications for conservation strategy (Conservation International, RSA)
  • Development of an ecological-economic model of an estuary for use in management and water allocation decision-making (Water Research Commission, South Africa)
  • Development of a protocol for integrating socio-economics in the classification of water resources for water allocation in South African catchments (DWAF, South Africa)
  • Valuation of the Okavango Delta, Botswana (Okavango Management Plan Project and IUCN, Botswana)  Download PDF (3.8MB)
  • Valuing change in environmental quality: a case study of river quality and tourism values in Kruger National Park (UCT, South Africa)
  • Determining the social value of small scale fisheries in Zimbabwe & Malawi (WorldFish Centre, Egypt/Malaysia)
  • Designing a system of payments for ecosystem services in the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area (MDTCA Project, South Africa)
  • Assessing the impact of alternative water allocation scenarios on the economic value of the Kromme and Seekoei estuaries (DWAF, South Africa)
  • The impacts of the ban on ORVs in the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and ascertaining the welfare maximising level of access to ORVs (DEAT, South Africa)
  • Economic sectoral study of the South African fishing industry - West coast rock lobster, linefish, seaweed and mariculture components (DEAT, South Africa)
  • Economic assessment of water allocation in the Pangani Basin, Tanzania: valuation, policy and economic management tools (Government of Tanzania)
  • Economic impact of displacement of trout by bass due to dam construction in the Natal Midlands (DWAF, South Africa)
  • Ecological-economic analysis of conservation farming in four areas of South Africa (South African National Biodiversity Institute)
  • Resource economics input for an EIA of proposed agricultural developments in the eastern Caprivi, Namibia (Government of Namibia)
  • Ecological-economic assessment of the upper Olifants River basin wetlands (Water Research Commission, South Africa)
  • Value of the Ngezi forest – the last forest remnant on Pemba Island, Tanzania (UCT, South Africa)
  • Valuation of natural resource use and habitats for development of the Rufiji Environmental Management Plan, Tanzania (IUCN-EARO, Kenya)
  • Economic valuation of the Zambezi Basin wetlands (Barotseland, eastern Caprivi, lower Shire and Zambezi Delta) (IUCN-ROSA, Zimbabwe)   Download PDF (2.2MB)
  • Economic valuation of urban open space areas in Cape Town (City of Cape Town)
  • Assessment of the economic impacts of climate change in South Africa (UCT, South Africa)
  • Boat-based whale watching in South Africa - An economic perspective(UCT, South Africa)  Download PDF (2.5MB)

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