Invasive plants - friends or foes? Contribution of prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) to livelihoods in Makana Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa
The negative impacts of invasive alien species on the environment are well documented. However, despite the predominantly negative perceptions associated with invasive species, it is evident that a number of these plants have been part of the landscape for generations and have numerous commercial and non-market uses. Consequently, there is a need for research that considers the impact of invasive species on the livelihoods and well-being of local communities. The authors investigated the contribution that the trade in prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica), an invasive alien species, makes to the household income streams of poor trading households. The research highlights the apparent conflict of interests and trade-offs that exists between local traders, for whom the sale of the prickly pear provides a livelihood source, and the South African Government, who are actively seeking to remove the plant from the landscape.
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Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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