Special Session: Payment for Ecosystem Services: Putting the Rangelands into the Mix

South Africa has traditionally addressed growing water security issues through the implementation of costly supply-side interventions, such as major inter-basin transfer and pumping schemes, and importing water from neighbouring countries. However, due to growing costs associated with these measures, and, critically, limited surplus water availability, the potential for supply-side interventions to address water security concerns is approaching capacity.

Special Session: Payment for Ecosystem Services: Putting the Rangelands into the Mix

South Africa has traditionally addressed growing water security issues through the implementation of costly supply-side interventions, such as major inter-basin transfer and pumping schemes, and importing water from neighbouring countries. However, due to growing costs associated with these measures, and, critically, limited surplus water availability, the potential for supply-side interventions to address water security concerns is approaching capacity.

Session Organiser: Tony Palmer

The opportunity for rangeland owners to contribute to supply is once again on the agenda. Similarly, threats to biodiversity have long been associated with certain rangeland management activities, and graziers have the chance to quantify the contribution they make to maintaining biodiversity.

Long term, sustainable solutions must now include catchment management strategies that address direct payment to users that are able to respond appropriately to improvements in key landscape functions. One of the greatest challenges to rangeland scientists is to provide the framework for objectively assessing the direct economic benefit that these solutions offer.

In this session we will present perspectives on the ecosystem services that rangelands provide, give insights into what possible accounting methods can be applied, and present some of the constraints and challenges that PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services) presents in southern African rangelands.

Volunteer papers and posters are invited.

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