The Southern Province Department of the Environment asked RESCCUE to economically quantify and assess the Great South’s ecosystem services with several aims in mind, namely to:
- support advocacy for more biodiversity protection from the main threats, including mining and fires;
- provide information for comparing the various mining development and biodiversity protection scenarios; and
- help develop innovative funding mechanisms (cf. above).
The project conducted an economic valuation of the Great South’s ecosystem services (summary available here), an assessment of ecosystem services losses due to mining, an assessment of services losses owing to fire as part of a broader economic analysis and an analysis of the use of such assessments in decision-making.
Other types of economic analysis, such as cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit studies, were also carried out while developing the various strategic-planning documents mentioned above. The extent to which all the economic analyses contributed to ICM was closely examined, and the issue of profitability measurement discussed.