A Social-Ecological Systems Understanding of Drivers of Degradation in the Tsitsa River Catchment to Inform Sustainable Land Management | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Enero 2021
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
LP-midp001107
Copyright details: 
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article

Understanding the interactions of the social and biophysical drivers of land degradation is crucial for developing adaptive management actions for future sustainability. A research-praxis project, the ‘Tsitsa Project’ (TP), applies a social-ecological systems (SES) approach where researchers, natural resource managers, and residents collaborate to support sustainable livelihoods and improved natural resource management for the degraded Tsitsa River Catchment (TRC) in South Africa. A system diagramming approach was coupled with findings from interviews, workshops, literature, and two conceptual frameworks. Data inputs were qualitatively integrated to provide a systemic snapshot of how the context-specific social and biophysical drivers are interlinked and how they interact, revealing multiple processes that operate simultaneously to cause and exacerbate land degradation. Physical and climatic variables, changes in land use and cover, and overgrazing were identified as key factors leading to degradation. Additionally, poverty and disempowerment were also important. While little can be done to influence the physical aspects (steep topography and duplex soils) and climatic variables (extreme rainfall and drought), carefully planned changes in land use and management could produce dual-benefits for improving landscape conditions and sustainable livelihoods. This analysis will inform integrated planning processes to monitor, avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation.

Autores y editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Itzkin, AdelaScholes, Mary C.Clifford-Holmes, Jai K.Rowntree, Katevan der Waal, BennieCoetzer, Kaera

Corporate Author(s): 
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Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050; CODEN: SUSTDE) is an international, cross-disciplinary, scholarly and open access journal of environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of human beings. Sustainabilityprovides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development, and is published monthly online by MDPI. 


Sustainability is an Open Access journal.


    Publisher(s): 

    MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization. It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China, Spain and Serbia. MDPI relies primarily on article processing charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these organizations pay reduced article processing charges.

    Proveedor de datos

    MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization. It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China, Spain and Serbia. MDPI relies primarily on article processing charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these organizations pay reduced article processing charges.

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