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Development of effective ways of extracting information from research to support decision making on social-ecological systems
Expanded Title:A set of guidelines and a manual for the evaluation of trade-offs in aquatic ecosystem services that may result from different water management scenarios was published following WRC research project K5/1644 (report TT462/10). These guidelines combine water management practices; the Millennium Ecosystems Assessment (MEA) framework of ecosystem services, and best practices in environmental and resource economics (ERE) valuation into a four-phased approach. This approach contains a series of methods through which to analyse and evaluate chains of causality and the trade-offs that result from different water resource management scenarios. The social and ecological sub-systems are connected so that we can consider in a structured and repeatable way, how they might respond to interventions we may choose to make or to naturally occurring changes. A knowledge gap was identified which relates to both the methodology to analyse chains of causality as well as the evidence required to specify and quantify chains of causality. Well-developed environmental and resource economics (ERE) techniques exist through which to value provisioning and cultural ecosystem services, but valuation techniques are less developed for regulating and supporting services. These require development and improved production function valuation methodology. The Centre for Evidence-Based Concervation (CEBC) in the United Kindom, has pioneered methodologies for evidence-based decision-making. However, there is still a poor understanding of the complex linkages that characterise socio-ecological systems. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to explore the field of ‘evidence-based analysis of socio-ecological systems’ (which we have abbreviated “E-BASES”), with the purpose of identifying potentially feasible methodologies for finding evidence, both ecological and social, in support of analysing chains of causality in complex, water resource dependent, socio-ecological systems. The study investigates the applicability of ecological production functions to analyse chains of causality; investigates the applicability of the evidence-extraction methods of evidence-based medicine (EBM), and evidence-based conservation (EBC) to Southern African conditions; proposes alternative evidence-extraction methods; and demonstrates the application of a set of five evidence-extraction methods at the hand of selected case studies.
Date Published:01/03/2012
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Planning and development, Ecosystem - Biomonitoring
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:1978/1/11
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0236-2
Authors:Ginsburg A; Mitchell S; Breen C; Crafford J
Project No:K5/1978
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Prime Africa Consultants
Document Size:2 761 KB
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