Project: Economics of Restoration

The growing importance and practice of ecological restoration requires the further promotion and development of the economics of restoration to ensure that restoration efforts become ever more efficient, that restoration outcomes are increasingly documented, analysed and advertised, and that the benefits to society of such investment types are maximised. Limited information on the topic is persistent and reinforcing due to systemic structures governing data pooling, generation, access and use. This places restoration practitioners, as well as the general public, at a disadvantage in terms of under (or over spending) on restoration projects.

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has selected to address information shortfall by empowering ASSET Research in partnership with SAEON to develop, populate and maintain a database just for ecological restoration and to equip the citizenry of South Africa with a decision support platform to inform their restoration practice. Using system dynamics modelling and drawing from various data sources, the project team will build a restoration database and interface that will equip the user to make informed decisions on restoration projects of various natures and for specific locations across the South African landscape.

As part of this project, interactive restoration models are developed. These models are described here.

Interactive maps and models

Conservation agriculture benefits by ASSET Research. The use of conservation agriculture is picking up momentum among landowners and by making it visible (the projects, the research) through this layer and an interface for the public ASSET hopes to encourage its uptake.

Community benefits for ecological restoration by ASSET Research. This layer provides access to peer reviewed literature on the community benefits of ecological restoration.

Water benefits for ecological restoration by ASSET Research. This layer allows the user to find peer reviewed literature which documents scientific studies of the water related benefits of ecological restoration.

Financial benefits for ecological restoration by ASSET Research. This layer connects the user to findings from peer reviewed literature about the financial benefits of restoration.

Energy benefits of ecological restoration by ASSET Research. This layer allows the user to find peer reviewed literature which documents scientific studies of the energy related benefits of ecological restoration.

Agricultural benefits for ecological restoration by ASSET Research. This layer allows the user to find peer reviewed literature which documents scientific studies of the agricultural related benefits of ecological restoration.

Biodiversity benefits for ecological restoration by ASSET Research. This layer provides access to peer reviewed literature on the benefits of ecological restoration for biodiversity.

Soil benefits for ecological restoration by ASSET Research. This layer provides peer reviewed literature about managing, restoring and improving healthy soil which makes it more useful, and capable of high produce and beneficial to people.

Marine benefits for ecological restoration by ASSET Research. This layer provides peer reviewed literature about managing, restoring and improving healthy marine life which makes it more useful, capable of high produce and beneficial to people.

Economics of restoration grey literature by ASSET Research. This layer provides access to information such as blogs, newspapers, reports etc, not published in research papers available.

Project overview:

The project is divided into the following four work packages:

  • Work package 1 (Blue arrows)
  • Work package 2 (Green arrows)
  • Work package 3 (Red arrows)
  • Work package 4 (Orange arrows)

The primary purpose of the project is to increase stakeholders’ awareness and use of data on restoration as well as its economics by engaging the stakeholders in the process of interface development and directly through use of the interface.

Figure-1

The team:

Rozanne Peacock

Rozanne Peacock - Project manager; Evironmental economics

Khulukazi Hlalukana

Khulukazi Hlalukana - Graphical Information Systems & remote sensing

Luleka Mdweshu

Luleka Mdweshu - Restoration ecology

Tafadzwa Chiyangwa

Tafadzwa Chiyangwa - Agricultural Economics

Yumna Parker

Yumna Parker - System Dynamics Modelling