The Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University | Page 3 | Land Portal
Phone number: 


Rhodes University 6140 Grahamstown , Eastern Cape
South Africa
Eastern Cape ZA
Postal address: 
P.O. Box 94 Grahamstown 6140
Working languages: 

We are a small department dedicated to advancing inter- and trans-disciplinary science and learning aimed at understanding and managing complex human-environmental/social-ecological systems, with a focus on Africa. 

We are interested in human-environment interactions and in the governance and sustainable management of complex social-ecological systems. We recognise that we are living in a globalising and rapidly changing world characterised by numerous interconnected environmental and social challenges. We undertake research on the ecological and socio-economic dimensions of these challenges, with the goal of contributing towards more resilient, equitable and sustainable pathways into the future. The nexus between human well-being, livelihoods, vulnerability, ecosystem services and change is central in all our work.  Key areas of research include:

  • Livelihoods, vulnerability and biodiversity
  • Ecosystem services and societal benefits
  • Non-timber forest products use, trade and management
  • Landscape change and land degradation
  • Co-management and governance of protected areas
  • Community based natural resource management
  • Social learning for change
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Urbanisation, urban greening and forestry
  • Ecosystem restoration and carbon sequestration
  • Invasive plants – uses, impacts and management
  • Food security, especially in relation to ecosystem services provision and wild food

The Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University Resources

Displaying 11 - 15 of 17
Library Resource

Master of Science Thesis

Reports & Research
August, 2014
South Africa

Water security is influenced by the complex interplay between ecological, socio-political, governance and water management systems. Achieving water security is essential for ensuring sustainable development, and challenges with water security are closely linked to the overall experience of poverty that many countries throughout the world, including South Africa, confront. These problems can broadly be understood through three main factors: water availability, access and usage; water governance and management underpin these factors.

Library Resource

Master of Science Thesis

Reports & Research
December, 2013
South Africa

Wild foods are an integral component of the household food basket, yet their quantified contribution to food security relative to other sources in the context of HIV/AIDS, climate change and variability remains underexplored. This study was carried out in Willowvale and Lesseyton which are rural communities in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

Library Resource
Policy Papers & Briefs
December, 2012
South Africa

A policy brief reviewing the important contribution of muncipal commonage to the livelihoods of poor househoods and proposing approaches to better utilise this resoource

Library Resource

Master of Science Thesis

Reports & Research
June, 2012
South Africa

Livelihood stressors in southern Africa, such as HIV/Aids and climate change, do not act in isolation but rather interact concurrently in complex socio-ecological systems with diverse, interrelated and compounded affects. Households experience differential vulnerability to such stressors based on contextual factors such as geographical location, income level and the gender and age of its members.

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