Building resilience in rangelands through a natural resource management model: a case study - Full report
The Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa has been implementing a Natural Resource Management (NRM) programme that has been contributing towards the restoration of rangelands for several decades. Although contributing to adaptation, the NRM programme is not measuring the impact of its intervention in terms of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA). In collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), Conservation South Africa (CSA) aimed to test whether soft options of soil erosion control could provide both socio-economic and ecosystem benefits (as improved soil capture and hydrology) that support an EbA approach.
A Before-After-Control-Impact-Paired (BACIP) study design was used to test the biophysical impacts of NRM interventions to control and reverse sheet and gulley erosion of soil. The case study in Namaqualand by CSA demonstrated that NRM programmes using soft options for soil erosion control have the potential to be implemented as part of an EbA and rangeland restoration approach. There are recommendations in the report that the programme should climate change training, and that there is monitoring and reporting on biophysical and socio-economic elements that support climate adaptation. These recommendations, coupled with an increase in the application of soft options for restoration may enable NRM programmes to demonstrate and report more effectively as an EbA modality.