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Embedding Property Rights Theory in Cooperative Approaches to the Management of Aquatic Ecosystem Services in South Africa
Expanded Title:In South Africa, with a growing appreciation of water scarcity, we have seen a shift away from the notion of ownership to rights of use. This shift marks explicit acknowledgement that water and the associated ecosystems need to be understood and managed as common pool resources. As our understanding of the links between ecosystems and society has developed we are encouraged to view ecosystems as providers of services from which we can derive benefits. Society's interest in aquatic ecosystems is thus focused on how the benefits of access to and use of services should be apportioned, a process that requires trade-offs and collective decision making. The need to allocate rights to benefit from ecosystem services that are highly variable in time and space stresses the central importance of understanding the concept of property rights in the context of common pool resources and embedding this in dialogue addressing the sharing of benefits. A scan of the international literature indicated that well-developed and specifically detailed property rights regimes might contribute significantly to the equitable and efficient governance of common pool resources. With this in mind, this report: 1. Explores the salient attributes of property rights regimes, particularly common property regimes that sustain cooperative approaches to management over long periods of time. 2. Identifies property rights knowledge gaps in the management of water resources in South Africa. 3. Analyses national policy and legislation with a view to assess the extent to which property rights theory and understanding have been integrated. 4. Develops a collective understanding of how property rights regimes, particularly common property theory, influences the management of aquatic ecosystem services in South Africa. 5. Services the WRC knowledge hub and those who benefit from it, by contextualizing property rights within the water sector.
Date Published:01/04/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Water Governance
Document Keywords:Policy and regulation
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2073/1/13
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0398-7
Authors:Nkhata BA; Wilkinson M; Breen CM; Hay D; Crafford J; Harris K
Project No:K5/2073
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Duncan Hay & Associates; Prime Africa; Monash South Africa
Document Size:1 865 KB
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