South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 16, No 1 (2013)

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The role and value of water in natural capital restoration on the Agulhas Plain

Helanya Fourie, Martin P. de Wit, Albert Van der Merwe

Abstract


The Agulhas Plain is a low-lying coastal area within the Cape Floristic Region. It is heavily invaded by alien vegetation that infringes upon the sustainable supply of ecosystem goods and services provided by the native fynbos vegetation. Alien clearing and natural capital restoration is expected to recover these ecosystem goods and services and in particular to increase water availability. The study conducts cost-benefit analyses to assess whether alien clearing and natural capital restoration would add value to the Agulhas Plain through sufficiently increasing the supply of marketable ecosystem goods and services. The results indicate that the costs of alien clearing and restoration cannot be justified in the absence of water as a valued commodity. Other ecosystem goods and services included have a negligible impact on justifying costs.

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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)