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Natural resource management - an employment catalyst: The case of South Africa

Giordano T., Blignaut J.N., Marais C.. 2012. Midrand : DBSA, 17 p.. (Working Paper Series : Development Planning Division, 33).

Since 1995 South Africa has, among other things, established four natural resource management programmes. These public programmes are i) "Working for Water" - responsible for the management of water catchment through the clearing of invasive alien species; ii) "Working for Wetlands" - responsible for the rehabilitation of degraded wetlands; iii) "Working on Fire" - responsible for the implementation of integrated veld and forest fire management; and iv) "Working for Land" - responsible for the restoration of land through the introduction of endogenous species. Using historic operational records of these programmes' costs, labour intensities, and performance, we estimate their job creation potential, and through the expansion of the programmes, their potential to achieve different objectives from an ecosystem goods and services' perspective. We estimate that between 192 000 and 494 000 full-time jobs could be created over the next 15 years depending on the level of effort and the environmental objective. These jobs could lead to income flows into poor rural households of between US$2 and US$15 billion a year. Such figures are impressive and call for dedicated measures to unlock this job creation potential. Our figures also clearly indicate the strong linkages between reaching both environmental and economic development targets. (Résumé d'auteur)

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