A conceptual framework for understanding ecosystem trade-offs and synergies, in communal rangeland systems

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Bennett, J., Marandure, T., Hawkins, H., Mapiye, C., Palmer, A., Lemke, S., Wu, L. and Moradzadeh, M. 2023. A conceptual framework for understanding ecosystem trade-offs and synergies, in communal rangeland systems. Ecosystem Services. 61, p. 101533. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2023.101533

AuthorsBennett, J., Marandure, T., Hawkins, H., Mapiye, C., Palmer, A., Lemke, S., Wu, L. and Moradzadeh, M.
Abstract

Communal rangelands are a global resource of significant benefit to society through the provision of critical ecosystem goods and services such as carbon sequestration, water and livestock forage. The relative importance of the ecosystem goods and services provided by communal rangelands is driven by the social and environmental priorities of a range of different stakeholders at the local, regional and national level. Understanding the potential ecosystem service trade-offs (and synergies) is vital for making informed and inclusive decisions as part of the process of stakeholder engagement, both in goal setting as well as evaluating the appropriateness of outcomes in rangelands. However, application of trade-offs approaches to communal rangelands, has frequently been limited by a lack of adequate stakeholder engagement to help define important factors such as the diverse objectives of end users and the broader institutional and policy environments that frame them. To help address this, we propose a framework that conceptualises the links between different actors and trade-offs at three key levels, using communal rangelands in South Africa as a case study. Firstly, we explore environment trade-offs between key ecosystem services, largely determined through public sector engagement in the formulation of environmental policy. Secondly, we examine the potential for environmental policies to create community-environment trade-offs between the needs of local communities and those of society more broadly. Thirdly, we consider community trade-offs reflecting the many different social and economic priorities of people living in communal systems. We suggest that the framework will find greatest application in the initial process of determining potential ecosystem service trade-offs and associated land use scenarios with key stakeholders, and then subsequently in connecting the trade-offs back to these stakeholders, following analysis, as part of a ‘discussion support’ process. We also discuss the broader applicability of this approach to rangelands systems outside of South Africa.

KeywordsTrade-offs ; Ecosystem services; Communal rangelands; Invasive alien plants; South Africa
Year of Publication2023
JournalEcosystem Services
Journal citation61, p. 101533
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2023.101533
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeBB/S014683/1
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online23 Apr 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted14 Apr 2023
PublisherElsevier
ISSN2212-0416

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