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North-West University (2021)

Legal protection of ’microclimate regulation’ as an urban ecosystem service in South Africa

Botes, M.

Titre : Legal protection of ’microclimate regulation’ as an urban ecosystem service in South Africa

Auteur : Botes, M.

Université de soutenance : North-West University

Grade : Master of Laws in Perspectives on Law 2021

Résumé
The current trends towards living in urban areas, along with unabated urban development are critically affecting cities and city environments. Urban areas face severe challenges such as environmental degradation, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution, and changes in city climates. These challenges constrain the capacity of ecosystems to provide crucial services upon which all humanity depend for their health, well-being, and livelihoods. South Africa has an extensive environmental, local government and planning legal framework that aims to realise the environmental right set out in section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The realisation of this right is the shared responsibility of every sphere of government. Based on the above environmental context, local government has an increasingly important role to play. Urban ecosystems deliver ecosystem services which benefit city residents. Ecosystem services are categorised into provisioning, supporting, cultural and regulating services. The function of regulating services is to attempt to balance the environment in which other processes or functions occur and can consist of ecosystem services such as water purification, air quality maintenance, and microclimate regulation. The focus in this study is on microclimate regulation which entails the regulation of temperature, humidity and precipitation within cities. The regulation capabilities of microclimate regulation provide a particularly valuable service when considering heat island effects in cities and the global climate change crisis. Against this backdrop, this study explores what the options are in law for the protection of microclimate regulation as an urban ecosystem service in South Africa

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Page publiée le 16 avril 2022