Exploring the possibility of taking an ecosystems approach to spatial planning at local government level

Van der Merwe, Wehncke (2020-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : With 60% of the world’s ecosystems degraded and under increasing pressure from land use changes, it has become essential to better manage the connections between development and ecosystems protection These ecosystems (directly and indirectly) provide the entirety of the human race with ecosystem services free of charge, with the estimated benefits that ecosystems provide humans calculated at approximately $125-$145 trillion a year. Through rapid land use changes and over exploitation, these benefits are decreasing rapidly. In order to better manage land use changes and ensure that this is done in a way that optimises development without compromising the provision of ecosystem services, a stronger focus needs to be placed on ecosystems within land use and spatial planning practices. In the South African context local municipalities are the mandated parties responsible for land use planning, management and development. For stronger consideration of ecosystems and the services they provide people, local municipalities have thus been pinpointed as a key component of the governance system for intervention. As is frequently the case with regard to municipalities in rural South Africa, these ecosystem services provide a safety net without which poor rural communities would battle to make ends meet. Through a case study of Maruleng Local Municipality, this thesis will explore the possibility of the municipality playing an increased role in protecting ecosystems and the services they provide through their spatial land use planning systems by analysing the legislative and contextual structure of the municipality, underpinned by a socio-ecological systems framework.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Met 60% van die wêreld se ekosisteme onder toenemende druk as gevolg van die onvolhoubare ontwikkeling van grond, het die tyd aangebreek vir beter integrasie van ekosisteembestuur en ontwikkelingsbeplanning. Hierdie ekosisteme, wat toenemend gedegradeer word, verskaf (op direkte en indirekte wyse) aan die mensdom gratis ekosisteemdienste en -voordele tot en met ‘n waarde van tussen $125 en $145 triljoen per jaar. Uitbuiting en onvolhoubare verbruik van hierdie ekosisteemdienste veroorsaak ‘n afwaartse kurwe in hulle beskikbaarheid. Ten einde verandering van grondgebruik meer doeltreffend te bestuur en te verseker dat dit op so ‘n wyse gedoen word dat ontwikkeling geoptimiseer word – sonder om die integriteit van ekosisteme en hulle vermoë om dienste te lewer negatief te beinvloed – moet groter fokus geplaas word op grond-en ruimtelike beplanningspraktyke. Om sulke tipe ontwikkelingspatrone te handhaaf, behoort ‘n sterker ekosisteembenadering nagevolg te word wat betref grondgebruik en ruimtelike beplanningspraktyke. In die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks lê die mandaat vir ontwikkelings- en grondgebruiksbeplanning by plaaslike munisipaliteite. Vir die doel van die ontwikkeling van ‘n meer doeltreffende ekosisteem-benadering binne ontwikkelings- en grondgebruiksbeplanning, is plaaslike munisipaliteite dus ‘n belangrike intervensiepunt. Hierdie tesis sal die moontlikheid verken dat plaaslike owerhede ‘n groter rol speel in die beskerming van ekosisteme en die dienste wat hulle verskaf deur middel van hul ruimtelike landgebruikbeplanningstelsels omdat – soos dit dikwels die geval is met landelike munisipaliteite in Suid-Afrika – hierdie dienste as veiligheidsnet dien vir arm gemeenskappe wat sterk steun op dié dienste om hulle lewensbestaan te onderskraag. Hierdie thesis verken die moontlikheid van ‘n ekosisteem benadering tot grongebruikbeplanningstelsels binne die konteks van die landelike Maruleng Plaaslike Munisipaliteit deur middel van ‘n analise van die wetgewende en konteksuele strukture waaronder die munisipaliteit funksioneer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108085
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