21 July, 2008


WHEN: 29 July 2008, 14h00-17h00
VENUE: Ghost Frog Room, Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, Kirstenbosch
Dr D.C.Le Maitre; Email: dlmaitre@csir.co.za; Ph: 021 888 2407
Cell: 072 337 0657; Dr Constansia Musvoto; Email: cmusvoto@csir.co.za
Ph: 012 841 4856; Cell: 0725381221; Please copy your replies to Ms Lynn Havinga (havinga@sanbi.org, Tel: +27 21 7998895) so she can make arrangements for refreshments.
The development of an ambitious and comprehensive 10-year Global Change Science Plan for the broader National System of Innovation forms a key component of the Global Change Grand Challenge implementation framework.
As a member of the South African Global Change science community you are invited to a regional information sharing and discussion session which forms part of the process of developing the National Global Change Science Plan.
This follows a national workshop which was held on 22 and 23 April 2008 in Pretoria where delegates were tasked with defining the research focal areas and kick off the process of defining the thematic priorities and potential work programmes associated with each. The workshop proposed that research under the National Global Change Science Plan for the next ten years should focus on two areas within the complex
regional system and its various components:
Focal Area 1: Understanding a complex regional system: Here the emphasis will be on understanding the processes and drivers of change in both the biophysical and social domains. Understanding system resilience will be a major area of interest.
Focal Area 2: Adaptive responses within a complex regional system: The
effective application of existing and new knowledge to meet societal needs and to build resilience of the interconnected system (including institutional) in support of societal benefits will form the core of this research focal area. More detail of the draft Science Plan will be made available at the workshop session and your input and comments on the contents will be invited at the session and via email or in the web-based discussion forum. The background to the development of the Global Change National Science Plan can be viewed at http://globalchange.grandchallengeonline.org/

09 July, 2008

Valuation of Wetland Services

Hi all Wetlanders

My colleague is currently reviewing various environmental valuation methods as part of his M.Sc research project. One of the valuation methods is referred to a Replacement or Substitute Cost Method. The replacement cost refers to the replacement of ecosystem functions with artificial structures and systems that will replicate the ecosystem function, such as water purification and retention, to determine its economic value. However, not all ecosystems can realistically be replaced or replicated by artificial structures and systems, making its use rather limited. An approach with the replacement cost method for wetlands would be to obtain engineering costs for the construction of water purification plants per mega-litre treating capacity and to use the total water treatment output of the wetland over a certain time period to obtain a value for the ecological function. I would appreciate it if you could refer this to some experts in this field who have either developed or knows of such costing models. There are a variety of variables that could be considered in such a model such as size of wetland in terms of volume of water treating/ storing capacity; treating efficiency (input TDS vs. output TDS).

This research project investigates a number of valuation methods,
legislation, locality specific variables and ease of application considering
various moderators. I can therefore not digress into too much detail and
such model will have to be demystified/ simplified with capacity for
assumptions and desktop work. This is unfortunately some compromises
environmental resources economics has to allow for, as our resources, time, and knowledge about the environment is limited.

Your inputs, recommendations, references and general comments/advise would be appreciated.


Stephan Du Toit (M.Sc Pr.Sci.Nat.), Specialist: Environmental Protection,
Mogale City Local Municipality, PO Box 94, KRUGERSDORP, 1740
083-306-3441; stephant@mogalecity.gov.za