The Contribution of Natural Capital to the Economy of KZN

Kevan Zunckel¹, Roger Davis², Steven McKean³, Debbie Jewitt³, Joe Phadima³,  Tindall Kruger²

¹Zunckel Ecological and Environmental Services (ZEES), 7 Annthia Road, Hilton
²Isikhungusethu Environmental Services (Isik), 2 Poole Ave, Pietermaritzburg
³Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW), PO Box 13053, Cascades 3202

As part of a KZN Spatial Economic Development Strategy, commissioned by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) in January 2011, an assessment of the contribution of natural capital to the provincial economy was undertaken.  In recognition of the work already done by EKZNW on the valuation of biodiversity as well as the potential value of integrating natural capital into the DEDT assignment, ZEES and Isik approached EKZNW to collaborate on the assessment.
Working with the categories of ecosystem goods and services as published by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the 47 land cover types recognised by EKZNW, a panel comprised of relevant EKZNW officials, ZEES and Isik, systematically allocated scores to each land cover types in terms of its potential to deliver ecosystem goods and services.  The scoring process recognised that certain land cover types have lost their ability to produce ecosystem goods and instead of delivering ecosystem services, are actually delivering dis-services and a negative scoring allocation was introduced.
The outcomes of the assessment were produced for the Province and for each of the District Municipalities and were captured in a series of tables illustrating the percentage of each ecoservice scoring category per District, as well as the percentage cover of broad land cover types.  A spatial representation of this was also provided.  The tables and maps were supported by a discussion of the relevance of the findings and these included comments on the linkages between the Districts with particular reference to the vulnerability of economic drivers as a result of natural capital loss and degradation.
It is hoped that this work will serve to ensure that economic strategy and decision-making becomes more sustainable as well as being the thin end of the wedge for the mainstreaming of biodiversity repackaged as natural capital.

Presentation Topic

The Contribution of Natural Capital to the Economy of KZN


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Zunckel Ecological and Environmental Services, (ZEES), 7 Annthia Road, Hilton


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