WRC - Social Ecological Systems

A collaborative research process under the WRC called” building social agency and local capacity for sustainable and equitable community resource management: A framework for co-learning, adaptive planning, and participatory mapping of land uses and ecosystem services” was undertaken by UKZN - Centre for Water resources research (CWWR), the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) and Mahlathini (MDF) (2020-2023). The intention was:

  1. To enhance the knowledge base towards a shared understanding of the natural resource base, climate variability, community needs and priorities, and governance decision-making and power dynamics, and

  2. Co-learning for stimulating action, building social agency and improved decision-making and governance outcomes. This was done through development of a transdisciplinary social-ecological GIS support tool which was developed for decision making and management of water and natural resources, and locally defined land uses and development of a framework for supporting innovation and decision making for sustainable resource use management and improved livelihood opportunities.