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University of Johannesburg (2020)

Impacts of climate change on ecosystem services and livelihoods within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Region

Mpofu, Ephraim

Titre : Impacts of climate change on ecosystem services and livelihoods within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Region

Auteur : Mpofu, Ephraim

Université de soutenance : University of Johannesburg

Grade : Master in Sustainable Urban Planning and Development 2020

Résumé
Due to the changes within the climatic conditions over the past decades, a number of livelihoods and ecosystem services particularly within the marginal communities have been affected through a series of natural disasters hence the need for more innovative adaptation and innovative measures. We examined the impacts of climate change on the ecosystem services and the livelihoods which has accounted for loss within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Region, a transboundary area. We used the different questionnaires and key informant interviews to get the data on people’s perceptions on the ecosystem services, natural disasters encountered, demography, landscape change and how their livelihoods are oriented. The landscape over the past 20 years has changed drastically as a result of different drivers. Additionally the weather data to confirm the change of climate over time was taken from the regional meteorological station which provided data from over 6 decades ago. Data was coded into google sheets and later into excel spreadsheet to allow for analysis. Descriptive and time series analysis were used to analyse the given data analysing the trend of weather parameters over the past 6 decades and also how the climate has effected the livelihoods and contributed to landscape change over the past years. Weather parameter over the past 6 decades from 1950 showed an increasing trend in maximum average temperature whilst in contrary the average annual rainfall was decreasing. Out of the 56 questionnaire participants and the 8 key informant interviewees, over 80% agreed on the occurrence of natural disasters mainly drought and floods which have affected the ecosystem services and their livelihoods since they rely mostly on subsistence farming. The respondents also agreed that the landscape has changed over the past 20 years showing how the dynamic pattern has been influenced by different drivers. However most provisional ecosystem services are highly available whilst some of the regulatory services have been facing overwhelming challenges due to change in climate. All the 8 key informants agreed on the change of the weather pattern and how it has affected game animals within the conservation precinct and also the services provided by the ecosystem through natural disasters. Therefore suggestions require more robust innovations of climate smart agriculture (CSA) and ecosystem based adaptation (Ecosystem Based Adaptation) strategies for survival and uplift of human livelihoods

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Page publiée le 29 janvier 2021