Ecosystem services assessment and mapping
The CSIR’s skills base in biodiversity and ecosystem services includes expertise in understanding and enhancing the governance of ecosystem services and social-ecological systems. The group of experts includes researchers who are leaders in the fields of social-ecological research, in particular ecosystem services, social-ecological systems and governance, plant invasion ecology, restoration ecology, fire ecology, resilience and disaster risk management, hydrological ecosystem services, ecosystem assessment and mapping, landscape dynamics and change, human well-being equity and trade-offs and rangeland ecology.
Research in this area focuses on understanding social-ecological systems in southern Africa, particularly the key drivers that shape these systems. The work aims to deepen our understanding of the impacts of poverty and inequality, landscape degradation and rapid urbanisation on environmental risks and resource scarcity.
There is a wide range of capabilities in this group, ranging from the modelling and mapping of ecosystem services, undertaking risk assessments, assessing the evidence and engaging stakeholders in the co-production of knowledge and solutions. CSIR research is geared towards advancing scientific understanding and generating practical tools, outputs and outcomes in the form of inputs into policy and land-use planning, as well as management guidelines, actions and opportunities.
The main research areas are degradation and restoration, ecosystem service modelling and mapping, knowledge co-production and multi-functional landscapes, policy and practice, poverty alleviation, risk and resilience, socio-ecological systems analysis, sustainable cities and water security.