Environmental conflict and its resolution : the case of invasive alien species management in Cape Town, South Africa

Caetano, Laura Diandra (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In a country as biologically diverse as South Africa, it is of critical importance to ensure that effective invasive alien species (IAS) management strategies are in place. The underlying though crucial role of public support in successful IAS management is not always recognised, and only comes to the fore when public opposition to IAS management strategies emerges as a barrier to successful IAS management, as has recently been the case with the removal of pine trees and mallard ducks in Cape Town. Studies have shown that public engagement in IAS decision making is vital in reducing impediments to consensus. In this regard, the use of collaboration and consensus-based approaches are well-established. This thesis investigates whether the decision-making processes used in Cape Town are congruent with these approaches, through the use of qualitative, in-depth interviews with both IAS managers and affected and/or interested members of the public. Results revealed an inconsistency between the actual methods used, and collaboration and consensus-based approaches. I then proceeded to identify several types of conflict between stakeholders, as well as the main challenges to effective public engagement in decision-making processes involved in IAS management. Lack of communication at all levels, and among various actors, emerged as the most significant contributor to conflict. The findings suggest that IAS managers’ attempts at communicating IAS-related issues to the public are insufficient and are not as far-reaching and well-received as those managers commonly perceive them to be. This study also highlights that taking into consideration the values and attitudes of the members of the public will greatly aid in understanding their actions, and will facilitate the development of sound methods of communication. This, ultimately, has the potential to reduce conflict over the management of IAS in Cape Town.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In ’n land wat so biologies divers is soos Suid-Afrika, is dit van kritiese belang om te verseker dat effektiewe strategieë vir die bestuur van uitheemse indringerspesies (UIS) in plek gestel word. Die onderliggende, tog deurslaggewende rol van publieke ondersteuning in die suksesvolle bestuur van UIS word nie altyd erken nie, en kom net na vore wanneer publieke teenstand teen UIS bestuurstrategieë na vore kom as ’n hindernis vir die suksesvolle bestuur van UIS. Dit was onlangs die geval met die verwydering van dennebome en mallard eende in Kaapstad. Ondersoeke toon dat openbare betrokkenheid in die UIS besluitnemingsproses noodsaaklik is in die vermindering van hindernisse tot konsensus. In hierdie verband is die gebruik van samewerking en konsensus-gebaseerde benaderings goed gevestig. Deur die gebruik van kwalitatiewe en in-diepte onderhoude met beide UIS bestuurders en geaffekteerde en/of belanghebbende lede van die publiek, is ondersoek ingestel of die besluitnemingsprosesse wat gebruik word in Kaapstad kongruensie met hierdie benaderings toon. Resultate toon ’n teenstrydigheid tussen die wesenlike metodes wat gebruik word en samewerkende sowel as konsensus-gebaseerde benaderings. Ek het daarna verskeie tipes konflik tussen belanghebbers, sowel as die belangrikste uitdagings vir effektiewe openbare deelname aan besluitnemingprosesse rakende UIS, te identifiseer. Die gebrek aan kommunikasie tussen verskeie akteurs/deelnemers het na vore gekom as van die grootste bydraende faktor tot konflik. My bevindings dui daarop dat UIS-bestuurders se pogings om UIS-verwante kwessies met die publiek te kommunikeer, onvoldoende is, en nie so goed ontvang soos wat die bestuurders glo dit is nie. Hierdie studie toon ook dat inagneming van die waardes en houdings van die publiek grootliks sal bydra tot begrip van hul optrede, asook die fasilitering van gesonde kommunikasiemetodes. Dit het die potensiaal om konflik te verminder in die bestuur van UIS in Kaapstad.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98819
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