Social–Ecological System Understanding of Land Degradation in Response to Land Use and Cover Changes in the Greater Sekhukhune District Municipality | Land Portal

Informações sobre recurso

Date of publication: 
Janeiro 2023
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
LP-midp000491
Copyright details: 
© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article

Land degradation is a major risk to the sustainability and functioning of socioecological systems (SES), especially in arid/semiarid regions. By understanding a system and its interlinkages, the socioecological approach offers an innovative way to explore degradation. This is achieved through a synergistic analytical approach to improve the ability of identifying and understanding systems, predicting their behaviour, and modifying them to achieve the desired effects. This research provides a roadmap for an integrated interdisciplinary approach that is a critical factor in understanding the drivers of land degradation. It can be used to determine appropriate land management action. The aim of this study was, therefore, to apply an integrated SES approach to a degraded rural semiarid context to address the land degradation problem using the Greater Sekhukhune District Municipality in South Africa as a case study. The Drive Pressure State Condition and four Responses (DPSCR4) framework (modified from Drive Pressure State Impact and Response (DPSIR)) was used as the SES to assess land degradation. Key informant interviews, focus group discussions with local pastoralists and traditional authorities, and the scientific literature were triangulated to systemically analyse DPSCR4. Land degradation neutrality (LDN) was integrated into the framework to draw conclusions on sustainable land management (SLM). The results show that the main anthropogenic activities driving land degradation are overgrazing, land tenure, poverty and disenfranchisement, unsustainable land use, and cropland abandonment, which favour bush encroachment. Natural factors such as topography, dispersive duplex soils, and climate variability and change predispose the district to soil erosion and gully formation. In combination with human activities, this exacerbates land degradation. The study recommends measures to enable informed integrated land use planning and management using the DPSCR4 and LDN frameworks to improve landscape conditions in rural semiarid regions and provide sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor in developing countries who depend on natural resources.

Autores e editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Kgaphola, Motsoko J.Ramoelo, AbelOdindi, JohnMwenge Kahinda, Jean-MarcSeetal, AshwinMusvoto, Constansia

Corporate Author(s): 
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    MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization. It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China, Spain and Serbia. MDPI relies primarily on article processing charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these organizations pay reduced article processing charges.

    Provedor de dados

    MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization. It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China, Spain and Serbia. MDPI relies primarily on article processing charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these organizations pay reduced article processing charges.

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