Fixing both the symptoms and the causes of degradation : The need for an integrated approach to economic development and restoration

Blignaut, J
Journal of Arid Environments
Publication Year: 
How does one achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (UN, 2000) in arid ecosystems, which are often also economically deprived? The MDGs provide very little guidance on addressing this question and one must seek elsewhere for guidance. One such source is Reynolds et al. (2007), who provide meaningful insights, and sound principles for managing human– environmental – or socio-ecological – systems in arid regions. They fall short, however, of linking their work to any economic model, restoration, or the MDG’s. There is therefore a vacuum between the work of Reynolds et al. (2007) and the MDG’s. In this essay, I hope to make a contribution towards addressing this vacuum by presenting a systemic ecological economic approach to economic development that acknowledges the fact that arid ecosystems deserve special and deliberate action in order to achieve the MDGs. Applying this economic development approach should reduce pressure on natural capital and enhance ecosystem functioning. Capacity-building is an essential part of the approach.
Name of Journal: 
Journal of Arid Environments
Resource Type: 
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Grassland Society of Southern Africa

The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.