Skip to main content

South Africa

EPRU Research Meeting with EfD

EPRU held its quarterly research meeting on the 20 May 2013 at the Andros Boutique Hotel in Cape Town. The objective of the research meeting was to discuss progress and share ideas on the various research projects undertaken by EPRU and its networks.

Park Pricing Workshop

A Workshop on Methodologies for Pricing National Park Products will be held April 27-29 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The workshop is a continuation of the National Park Pricing Policy Workshop held in Kenya in November 2010.

2017-10-19

EfD Annual Meeting 2017: Information for participants

This year the EfD annual meeting  will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from:  October 27-30, 2017. It is hosted by the Environment and Climate Research Center (EfD - Ethiopia) and the EfD Secretariat. The EfD annual meeting is a forum to bring together researchers from all EfD centers and their collaborators. EfD would also like to attract key stakeholders for exchange of research ideas. Updates for participants will be displayed here.

2017-05-08

Can Canadian fisheries management work for South Africa?

A South African research economist recently returned from a five-month sabbatical to British Columbia where he explored whether Canada’s approach to managing river salmon, and to a lesser extent sturgeon, could be replicated successfully for in-shore coastal fisheries management here.

2017-03-22

Market mechanisms to nudge better watersheds management

The traditional approach to managing watersheds globally is to do so using state regulations, or through publicly funded initiatives. A recent analysis by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) shows that using market mechanisms to incentivise better watershed management is a good complement to these more widely used methods.

2017-01-04

Fellowship for Environmental Studies at Duke Kunshan

Duke Kunshan University is now accepting applications for the new international Master of Environmental Policy (iMEP) Program. The iMEP program is a two-year degree offered jointly by Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and Nicholas School of the Environment.  Students will study core courses in both environmental management and public policy at Duke Kunshan University (China) and Duke University (United States).  We would really appreciate it if you could share this information with people who might be interested. 

2016-12-09

EPRU helps assess shale gas mining risk

The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently released a scientific assessment of the risks and opportunities of shale gas mining, which is proposed for parts of the Karoo region of South Africa. 

2016-11-25

How to drive water saving amongst office staff

CAPE TOWN: Appointing a water-saving ‘champion’ in an office block context could be one way that municipalities and companies in South Africa can respond quickly and cheaply to the water restrictions facing many parts of the country, following two years of severe drought.

2016-03-01

Economists hail Cape wetland conservation

Local economics researchers have hailed the announcement this month that the City of Cape Town will reverse a decision to sell a section of the Princess Vlei wetland near Diep River to developers, who planned to build a shopping mall.

2015-12-01

Knowing angler ‘hotspots’ could help enforce catch limits

Anglers along the South African coastline choose their fishing spots on the likelihood of catching the most fish, rather than how far they have to walk to get to the spot, or weather conditions. Knowing where these fishing ‘hotspots’ are could help authorities enforce catch limits, as line fish stocks have depleting dramatically in recent years.

2015-11-27

Zimbabwean peasant farmers could learn from commercial conservationists

Zimbabwe’s community-based conservation approach, which brings together peasant farmers in a tourism-focused approach to wildlife management, has not curbed poaching along the edge of protected areas as intended. And communities haven’t benefited as much from the income they hoped to gain from selling hunting licences, either.

2015-11-09

EPRU brings ‘neutral’ view to Namibia mining question

The Namibian government is considering whether or not to open up its offshore phosphate deposits for dredge mining. But before it does so, it wants to make a careful and considered decision based on independent analysis of the likely impacts on the environment, and how other competing industries might be affected.

2015-08-11

Tourism for development: being inclusive

The immediate downstream benefits of tourism can be measured in clear economic terms for remote communities who have few employment prospects in rural Africa. But the social, environment, and political impacts are also key to driving ‘inclusive growth’ for such communities.

2015-06-24

Tanzanian farmers are adapting to climate change

Smallholder farmers in Tanzania, who have seen how climate change has altered rainfall patterns and pushed up temperatures, are adapting their farming methods to meet these shifting conditions. This presents an opportunity for the government there to tailor its policies to help farmers meet future farming challenges.

2015-06-17

Zim community sidesteps government middle men to reclaim hunting revenues

Some rural communities in Zimbabwe are trying to get greater control of the income gained from hunting licenses, bypassing the regional government offices which have traditionally managed these revenues. And now, local economists want to understand if this is working to the benefit of the community, and if it’s enhancing their welfare.

2018-08-29

Looking for leverage in the ocean plastics crisis

The question of how to address plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is very similar to that of carbon emissions in the atmosphere: it may be possible to tackle the source of the pollution within the borders of specific countries, but the impacts of this accumulated waste fall outside of the responsibility of any individual nation state.

2018-05-30

Scope to increase Kgalagadi tourism fees

South African conservation authorities could raise the daily park attendance fees for the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) by just over double, without a significant loss of visitors in response to the price hike.

2017-09-11

Redesigning water-friendly cities

If Cape Town’s urban surfaces are designed to be porous and water-catching, it could help meet many of the city’s water needs through recharging the Cape Flats aquifer, while also helloing to manage rainy season flooding and stormwater pollution challenges.

2017-08-25

Researchers focus on collapsed SA squid fishery

PORT ELIZABETH: The collapse of the local squid fishery on the south-east coast of South Africa in 2013 has prompted an international body of scientists and policymakers to meet this September. The group will bring together different research disciplines to discuss this small but high-value export fishery, which collapsed in the summer of 2013 and 2014.

2017-07-03

Behavioural Nudges for Water Conservation: Experimental Evidence from Cape Town

The City of Cape Town has been working with EPRU to find an evidence-based answer to which methods are most effective in encouraging more prudent water use by the public. Prof Martine Visser, Dr Kerri Brick, and Johanna Brühl are behavioural economists at EPRU. The EPRU team was supported by Samantha De Martino from Sussex University, and Jorge Garcia from Cicero in Norway. The results assist the municipality to design policy that will help manage the city’s water supplies in an increasing climate change-stressed future. The study focuses on identifying which incentives best motivate households of different income levels to reduce their consumption.

2017-06-13

Greening Africa’s growing cities

Africa’s cities growth might have kicked off a bit later than many other developing world countries, but they are growing fast. This presents an opportunity to do so in a way that creates ‘a more harmonious relationship between their natural and built environments. This is according to a new report by the World Bank, which concludes that ‘focused action is necessary’ in order to avoid ‘largely unchecked (negative) impacts on the natural environment, and the degradation of natural assets and ecosystems within African cities’.

2017-01-26

Request for concept notes to develop collaborative multi-site research projects

SETI (http://seti.duke.edu/) invites concept notes to seed collaborative research related to energy transitions. We particularly welcome proposals for work related to the SETI priority themes, including: Consequences of energy poverty, defined as a lack of reliable access to electricity and other modern fuels Drivers of the energy transition in low- and middle-income contexts, including lessons from past experiences Impacts of energy transitions at various scales (households, firms, and the regional and global environment) Policy levers and solutions to speed the energy transition; and analysis of their effectiveness Notable gaps in research on energy transitions

2016-12-05

SA environmental policy should have climate change focus

CAPE TOWN: The South African government has drawn up some of the most advanced environmental laws and policies on the continent, since its transition to a democratic state in 1994. In a recent overview of these, University of Cape Town (UCT) resource economist Dr Jane Turpie has identified key areas were future research is needed, in order to boost this policy further, with responses to climate change being a key theme.

2016-11-29

SA’s ocean economy reviewed

CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s oceans and beaches boost the country’s economy by roughly 35 percent, in terms of the ‘goods and services’ they provide. This is highlighted in a report released recently by the local branch of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), which gives an overview of the economic value of South Africa’s marine environments.

2016-08-02

Risk in small farming: winning Masters’ thesis

CAPE TOWN: A study of how small-scale farmers in the Western Cape, South Africa, shape their decisions around using conventional or organic farming methods, based on their perceived risks, has won an economics Masters student at the University of Cape Town (UCT) an award for the best thesis in her year.

2016-05-27

Planning for climate responses’ unintended fallout

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: When home owners at a seaside residential complex in Milnerton, Cape Town, decided to pile up sandbags between the beach and their gardens in the early 2000s, their intention was to stop the high tide from eating away at their plots during storm surges. What they didn’t anticipate was that this erosion control measure would make their property prices fall, reduce beach space, drive away tourists, and leave the beach strewn with litter.

2016-05-18

Better banking, communications, needed in Southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: When a touring group of 289 mountain bikers needs to cross legally from Botswana into Zimbabwe, and then South Africa (SA), far from any official border posts, it means setting up informal but bureaucratically-sound passport control points in dry river beds or on dirt tracks.

2016-05-09

Is there an economic case for fracking?

WORCESTER, SOUTH AFRICA: If the South African government gives the green light for private energy companies to begin extracting shale gas using the method of hydrological fracturing, or ‘fracking’, will it have economic benefits for the region and the country? And if so, could these be offset by the cost of the potential negative impacts to other sectors and communities in the water-scarce Karoo, where fracking is being considered?

2016-04-21

Putting a price tag on natural water purification

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: Nature can help to purify the water we drink. When a forest upstream of a water treatment plant is intact and healthy, the water arriving in the plant can be of  better quality than if the forest has been heavily harvested or clear-felled. Better quality water arriving in the plant, means fewer chemicals needed to clean the water, and the purification costs are therefore lower.

Pages