Original Research

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

Helanya Fourie, Martin P. de Wit, Albert Van der Merwe
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 16, No 1 | a252 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v16i1.252 | © 2013 Helanya Fourie, Martin P. de Wit, Albert Van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 August 2011 | Published: 26 February 2013

About the author(s)

Helanya Fourie,, South Africa
Martin P. de Wit, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Albert Van der Merwe, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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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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