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The valuation of biodiversity conservation by the South African Khomani San "bushmen" community

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  • Johane Dikgang
  • Edwin Muchapondwa

Abstract

The restitution of land to the Khomani San "bushmen" and Mier "agricultural" communities in May 2002 marked a significant shift in conservation in the Kgalagadi area in South Africa. The Khomani San and Mier communities were awarded land inside and outside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Given that the Khomani San interact more with nature, biodiversity conservation will only benefit from the land restitution in this case if the Khomani San are good environmental stewards. Therefore, this paper uses the contingent valuation method to investigate the values assigned to biodiversity conserved under the various forms of land tenure arrangements by the Khomani San in the Kgalagadi area and compares them to similar valuations by the adjacent Mier community. The proposed conservation programme sought to plant as many native trees, shrubs and grasslands as required to reduce biodiversity loss by 10% in terms of the quantities of each of the selected major species of the area. Despite the fact that the conservation programme has both winners and losers when implemented under any of the three land tenure arrangements considered, the findings suggest that the Khomani San, whose attitudes towards modern conservation have not been evaluated until now, and the adjacent Mier community generally attach a significant economic value to biodiversity in their area. The net economic value for conserving biodiversity under the various forms of land tenure arrangements by the Khomani San ranged from R928 to R4 672 relative to the Mier community’s range of R25 600 to R64 000. However, for both communities, in order for all members of the local communities to support biodiversity conservation unconditionally, mechanisms for fair distribution of the associated costs and benefits should be put in place.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 257.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:257

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Keywords: biodiversity; contingent valuation; Khomani San; Kgalagadi; land restitution;

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  1. Fay, Derick, 2009. "Land Tenure, Land Use, and Land Reform at Dwesa-Cwebe, South Africa: Local Transformations and the Limits of the State," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1424-1433, August.
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  4. Edwin Muchapondwa & Fredrik Carlsson & Gunnar Köhlin, 2008. "Wildlife Management In Zimbabwe: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Study," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(4), pages 685-704, December.
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  6. Pamela Kaval & Richard Yao & Terry Parminter, 2007. "The Value of Native Biodiversity Enhancement in New Zealand: A Case Study of the Greater Wellington Area," Working Papers in Economics, University of Waikato, Department of Economics 07/22, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  7. Clinch, J Peter & Murphy, Anthony, 2001. "Modelling Winners and Losers in Contingent Valuation of Public Goods: Appropriate Welfare Measures and Econometric Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 420-43, April.
  8. Shyamsundar, Priya & Kramer, Randall A., 1996. "Tropical Forest Protection: An Empirical Analysis of the Costs Borne by Local People," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 129-144, September.
  9. Munro, Alistair, 2007. "When is some number really better than no number? On the optimal choice between non-market valuation methods," MPRA Paper 8978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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