The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) group at the CSIR (South Africa) is an interdisciplinary, applied research group with expertise in research related to understanding and enhancing the governance of ecosystem services and social-ecological systems. Two of their members participated to our International Spring University in Bilbao. This year was the ARIES team turn to visit them at their premises in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town.
Starting at the end of July with a first week of study and mutual updates on case study problematics and software feature development, with the participation of Ferdinando Villa, I remained the whole month of August to support BES work on the eThekwini Municipality (Durban), particularly focussing on the direct/indirect modalities of accesses to ES from the beneficiary’s perspective. One of the main findings is that, in the study region, population density and informal settlements can explain up to 80% of beneficiaries’ behaviour towards the use of provisioning ecosystem services.
Thanks to Patrick O’Farrel for the invitation and to the whole BES team for starting this hopefully long lasting collaboration.

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