Charlie Shackleton

Charlie Shackleton
Rhodes University | RU · Department of Environmental Science

PhD

About

398
Publications
122,029
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14,345
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Introduction
Charlie Shackleton currently works at the Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University. Charlie's primary research interests include the ecology and use of non-timber forest products, rural livelihoods, urban forestry and the role of wild foods in food security and diversity.
Additional affiliations
June 2000 - present
Rhodes University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (398)
Article
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Social-ecological systems (SES) research has emerged as an important area of sustainability science, informing and supporting pressing issues of transformation towards more sustainable, just and equitable futures. To date, much SES research has been done in or from the Global North, where the challenges and contexts for supporting sustainability tr...
Article
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South Africa has experienced massive urbanisation and socioeconomic development over the past two decades. Concomitantly, the national energy policy focuses on the provision of modern fuels, notably electricity, for domestic use. Given this policy environment and socioeconomic development, we examine pertinent literature and policies from South Afr...
Article
Much previous research has problematized the use of a binary urban–rural distinction to describe human settlement patterns in and around cities. Peri-urban zones, on the edge of urban settlements, are important both in the sheer magnitude of human population and in terms of being home to vulnerable populations with high rates of poverty. This Persp...
Article
In most low-income countries, rural households combine a range of economic activities to generate income, achieve food and nutritional security and fulfill other livelihood objectives, including: small-scale farming, fishing, hunting, livestock and timber production, and non-timber forest products gathering, as well as off-farm activities such as w...
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Trees in public urban green spaces provide a variety of ecosystem goods and services that are greatly appreciated by urban residents. A commonly used good, especially in Global South regions, is that of fuelwood for household energy needs. Yet the production potential of fuelwood from public urban green spaces has rarely been examined. This study q...
Article
Assumptions about the link between green space and crime mitigation are informed by literature that overwhelmingly originates in the Global North. Little is known about the association between green spaces and crime in the Global South. We utilized 10 years of precinct-level crime statistics (n = 1152) over South Africa, a global crime hotspot, to...
Article
Production of livestock in urban spaces is a common phenomenon globally, particularly in the Global South. Livestock provides multiple benefits to society yet its production in urban spaces can result in adverse impacts to residents that can trigger conflicts. Understanding of the ecosystem services and disservices of livestock from the perspective...
Article
Increasing human populations and rapid urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa have prompted the development and maintenance of urban green infrastructure, including urban trees for sustainability, human wellbeing, liveability and climate resilience. However, there are still insufficient amounts and large inequities in the distribution of trees between...
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The management of urban forests is a key element of resilience planning in cities across the globe. Urban forests provide ecosystem services as well as other nature based solutions to 4.2 billion people living in cities. However, to continue to do so effectively, urban forests need to be able to thrive in an increasingly changing climate. Trees in...
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Globally, the importance of urban vegetation in the quality and maintenance of life in urban areas is increasingly recognized. As the basis of urban green infrastructure, urban vegetation provides a diversity of ecosystem services, including provisioning services. However, there is limited understanding of the potential of urban vegetation as a sup...
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Informal foraging for food and other natural materials in urban greenspaces is an activity undertaken by many across the world. For some, foraging is a necessary means of survival and livelihood, while for others, it provides cultural and recreational opportunities. In the socioeconomic crises induced by Covid-19, foraging can help communities, esp...
Article
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are widely used wild, biological products harvested from rural and urban landscapes for household subsistence, income and culture, thereby contributing to human wellbeing. Estimates of the numbers of people making use of, or being dependent on, NTFPs vary widely, and global estimates to date have excluded urban po...
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Understanding tree species autecology and population structure supports effective conservation actions. Of particular importance are multipurpose trees that provide non-timber forest products (NTFPs). We assessed the population structures and morphologies of two species of NTFP trees in the genus Mimusops across bioclimatic zones in Benin by sampli...
Article
Traditional handicrafts made from various plant materials are produced by most cultures around the world. Many originated through symbolic and utilitarian needs that became ritualized through time, thereby gradually attaining greater value as cultural items or symbols rather than solely functional ones. Here we report on a survey of 343 crafters ac...
Article
Different types of public urban green spaces (PUGS) contain various natural (such as trees, pools, flowerbeds) and artificial elements (such as benches, play equipment, fountains) which contribute to the enjoyment and experience of users. However, which elements users most require, appreciate or notice has rarely been examined as the basis of their...
Article
Although foraging wild plants is commonly perceived to be synonymous with rural areas, it is now increasingly recognized in urban areas. Notwithstanding, the regulations conditioning access to and rights to foraging in urban green spaces have seldom been examined. This study explored the formal and informal regulations governing access to and defin...
Article
The potential and real negative and positive effects of invasive alien species (IAS) are increasingly recognised by researchers, land managers and decision-makers. However, most of the research and knowledge stems from understandings developed from rural and natural landscapes, with relatively little derived from studies in urban settings. Small to...
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The multiple benefits of urban green infrastructure (UGI) that support sustainable cities are increasingly acknowledged, and yet the bulk of research over the past decade or so has focused on only a small subset of the numerous benefits, notably recreation, physical and mental health, and regulating services. In contrast, there is very little infor...
Article
A substantial portion of urban green infrastructure is under private tenure in residents’ and business/corporate gardens. Therefore, the ways that urban residents manage their gardens can influence the type, quantity and quality of ecosystem services and disservices in urban areas. Plant nurseries are a major source of trees for urban residents, an...
Article
In South Africa there has been relatively little consideration of the informal employment offered to domestic household workers and gardeners. Here we report on the number and profile of gardeners employed by private households and the wage and satisfaction rates in 12 towns of the Eastern Cape. Over 98% of the informal gardeners were male, middle-...
Chapter
The rapid growth in urban ecological research and application has been led by countries of the Global North, particularly Europe and the USA, albeit not restricted to them. However, this belies that most urban growth is currently in the Global South, with the differential set to increase in the future. Thus, there is an imbalance between where the...
Chapter
All of humankind, urban and rural, rich and poor and whether living in the Global South or the Global North rely to some degree on provisioning ecosystem services such as food, water, timber, fibre and medicinal products. However, in contrast to the Global North the contextual forces shaping many urban livelihoods in the Global South necessitate th...
Chapter
Urban ecology is a key discipline in guiding urban development, sustainability and consequently human wellbeing. However, most urban ecological research has, and continues to be, undertaken in the Global North, and thus urban ecological methods, principles and frameworks are dominated by contributions and understandings from the Global North. Howev...
Chapter
As much as people benefit from the ecosystem services provided by nature, ecosystem disservices also impact daily lives. This is especially true for many urban communities in the Global South due to (1) the often greater diversity of ecosystem disservices and (2) higher vulnerabilities, which together can lead to greater impacts of ecosystem disser...
Article
Public urban green spaces are essential for urban sustainability and the physical and mental wellbeing of urban residents. Yet in some settings they may face a number of threats, ranging from land transformation and development, through to poor maintenance and vandalism. It has been posited that community engagement is a crucial strategy in address...
Article
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Understanding the niche and habitat requirements of useful and threatened species, their shifts under climate change and how well protected areas (PAs) preserve these habitats is relevant for guiding sustainable management actions. Here we assessed the ecological factors underlying the distribution of two multipurpose and threatened species, Mimuso...
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Colonialism is a significant legacy across most aspects of urban form, the nature and distribution of public green spaces, and tree species composition in many cities of the Global South. However, the legacy effects of colonialism on urban green infrastructure and the uses thereof have only recently come under scrutiny. Here we collate information...
Book
Against the background of unprecedented rates of urbanisation in the Global South, leading to massive social, economic and environmental transformations, this book engages with the dire need to understand the ecology of such settings as the foundation for fostering sustainable and resilient human settlements in contexts that are very different to t...
Article
Hyphaene coriacea and Phoenix reclinata are two abundant palm species in the Maputaland coastal plains of southern Mozambique. They provide an array of subsistence and commercial non-timber forest products. This research characterizes the ethnobotanical knowledge and uses of these species. Using structured interviews we assessed the knowledge, past...
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Wild edible fruits (WEFs) are important non-timber forest products (NTFP) that are commonly grouped with other wild foods or NTFPs in general. We hypothesize that WEFs, other wild foods, and non-food NTFPs contribute in different ways to household economies. Using data collected through a survey of 503 households in South Africa, we describe patter...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: 10.1007/s10745-020-00196-8
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The pepper-bark tree (Warburgia salutaris) is one of the most highly valued medicinal plant species worldwide. Native to southern Africa, this species has been extensively harvested for the bark, which is widely used in traditional health practices. Illegal harvesting coupled with habitat degradation has contributed to fragmentation of populations...
Article
The contribution of ecosystem services to smallholder agriculture is widely recognised. However, they are seldom analysed in tandem with the ecosystem disservices, such as crop weeds and pests, which the same systems produce. We do so by quantifying the provisioning ecosystem services and disservices in smallholder arable agricultural systems in th...
Chapter
Urbanisation is a global multidimensional process that is intricately interlinked with ideological processes of modernisation, industrialisation and rationalisation. Cities have become viewed as agents of development and change, promoting capitalistic ideals of forward thinking and innovation. The Global North and Western ideals are deemed the fron...
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This study presents an integrated examination of both the ecosystem services (ES) and ecosystem disservices (EDS) associated with smallholder animal husbandry in rural livelihoods in three villages in southeast South Africa. It recognises the contribution of ES supporting and resulting from smallholder livestock and poultry production, but also det...
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The production of plant fibre products is considered a promising pathway for contributing to people’s livelihoods particularly in developing countries, where economic options might be limited. However, there are limited comparative studies across countries on plant fibre products, making it difficult to examine how local and broader biophysical, so...
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Urban green infrastructure provides ecosystem services that are essential to human wellbeing. A dearth of national-scale assessments in the Global South has precluded the ability to explore how political regimes, such as the forced racial segregation in South Africa during and after Apartheid, have influenced the extent of and access to green infra...
Article
Most sub-Saharan African countries are experiencing accelerating rates of urban migration, which bring with it many opportunities and challenges for migrating households, urban planners, governments and local and national economies. At the household level urbanisation may drive changes in the allocation of household labour and consequently social a...
Article
Urban green infrastructure (UGI) provides numerous environmental, social and economic benefits through direct and indirect use of ecosystem services. The maintenance of UGI also provides work opportunities for skilled and unskilled workers in the public and private sectors, so-called green collar jobs. However, the extent and benefit of such employ...
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Gathering of uncultivated food from green spaces, also known as foraging, is observed in urban areas across the world, but the literature focuses predominantly on the global north. Our study examines the existing urban land management structure and its approach to urban foraging in the eastern coastal region of South Africa. Through interviews with...
Chapter
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This chapter examines current knowledge relating to the human and social dimensions of biological invasions in South Africa. We do so by advancing 12 propositions and examining the evidence for or against each using South African literature. The propositions cover four broad issues: how people cause invasions; how they conceptualise them; effects o...
Article
Urban ecosystems provide goods and services critical to livelihood sustenance, environmental protection and sustainability. However, the potential role of some urban ecosystem services such as the provisioning services, to promote liveable cities and livelihood resilience is seldom considered. This study reports on the prevalence and pattern of wil...
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Provisioning ecosystem services of the Likangala River Catchment in southern Malawi are important for livelihoods of those living there. Remote sensing, participatory mapping and focus group discussions were used to explore the spatio-temporal changes and trade-offs in land-cover change from 1984 to 2013, and how that affects provisioning ecosystem...
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Globally, approximately one billion people benefit from contributions of wild foods to their food security and dietary diversity. Wild foods are known to be important in rural communities in terms of food and micronutrient provision, diversifying diets, reducing vulnerability to non-communicable diseases and overall health. However, the potential c...
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Large swathes of arable fields have been abandoned in many areas of the world over the last few decades driven by a multitude of local and broader-scale factors. Many former fields experience a change in vegetation composition and structure post-abandonment, typically through a process of plant succession. The changes in species and abundance mean...
Article
South Africa has potential to export honey products through promoting beekeeping as an income generating opportunity amongst rural communities. Formalised beekeeping may also reduce wild fires initiated by hunters of wild bee hives. This study examined the contribution of the African Honey Bee (AHB) initiative to rural livelihoods and the incidence...
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Faced with environmental degradation, governments worldwide are developing policies to safeguard ecosystem services (ES). Many ES models exist to support these policies, but they are generally poorly validated, especially at large scales, which undermines their credibility. To address this gap, we describe a study of multiple models of five ES, whi...
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The importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to rural livelihoods is widely acknowledged globally, as is the income generated from casual or fulltime trade on village and urban markets. However, there is less understanding of how the condition or status of the neighboring landscapes influence the use of and trade in NTFPs. Here we report on...
Article
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A well-nourished and healthy population is a central tenet of sustainable development. In South Africa, cultural beliefs and food taboos followed by some pregnant women influence their food consumption, which impacts the health of mothers and children during pregnancy and immediately afterwards. We documented food taboos and beliefs amongst pregnan...
Article
Understanding of urban residents’ preferences and dislikes for tree species and attributes is necessary to provide them with the species they most favour. Yet there is relatively little understanding of local species preferences, the reasons underlying them and how they vary with context and scale. We interviewed 1100 urban residents in eleven town...
Article
Urban greenery provide a variety of goods and services to city dwellers. A core one is amelioration of the urban heat island effect. However, the many estimates from temperate regions cannot be extrapolated to the tropics, where more empirical studies are required to guide urban planning and optimization of green infrastructure design and distribut...
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Soliga tribes in the Western Ghats, India harvest some NTFPs (non-timber forest products) for religious purposes. They extract gum-resin from Boswellia serrata Roxb. in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT), Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS), and Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary (MMH) in the state of Karnataka, India. They use gum-resi...
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Newspapers are key information sources and may influence both public opinion and policy. Previous studies have analysed the portrayal of ecosystem disservices in newspapers, but none have assessed the relative coverage between disservices and services, or how it might have changed over time. We report on the relative frequency and depiction of ecos...
Article
Uses, Knowledge, and Management of the Threatened Pepper-Bark Tree (Warburgia salutaris) in Southern Mozambique.Warburgia salutaris, the pepper-bark tree, is one of the most highly valued medicinal plant species in southern Africa. Due to its popularity in folk medicine, it is overexploited in many regions and is deemed threatened throughout its ra...
Article
Although many studies have examined the contributions of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to rural livelihoods, relatively few consider the context in which income shares are shaped. A core one is the local agro-ecological potential because it moulds possible land use options and the potential balance between agricultural and NTFP activities. Usi...
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Wild edible fruits (WEFs) are among the most widely used non-timber forest products (NTFPs), and important sources of nutrition, medicine, and income for their users. In addition to their use as food, WEF species may also yield fiber, fuel, and a range of processed products. Besides forests, WEF species also thrive in diverse environments, such as...
Article
Traditional, Indigenous, or Leafy? A Definition, Typology, and Way Forward for African Vegetables. Around 1000 different species of indigenous and naturalized vegetables contribute to the dietary diversity, food security, and livelihoods of populations across sub-Saharan Africa. These foods are also a part of alimentary traditions and cultural iden...
Article
Urban trees are vital components of urban ecosystems, and thus important for environmental quality, urban sustainability, and quality of life in cities. Regrettably, urban trees are sometimes unequally distributed both between and within towns, a pattern largely associated with differences in the social environment of cities and historical patterns...
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Although it has been hypothesized that men and women vary in the way they value ecosystem services, research on ecosystem services rarely incorporates a gender dimension. We conducted research with nine indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon to understand which ecosystem services men and women perceive as most important for their wellbeing...
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As the world continues to face widespread food insecurity, achieving food security for all at all times is increasingly complicated. In South Africa, social grants and the use of wild foods have been reported as some ways to improve household food insecurity and reduce poverty. The study examined if social grants and consumption of wild foods allev...
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Bushmeat hunting and consumption is common throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, a recent review indicated that the prevalence and nature of bushmeat hunting was little researched or understood in southern African savannas. Here we present information from a number of rural livelihoods studies in South Africa that indicate that bushmeat consumption i...
Article
Background: In forest areas, reconciling strategies to halt deforestation and concerns to improve sustainable food supply and access is a great challenge to development planners and forest managers. This paper gathered evidence on the relationship between deforestation and food insecurity. The study was executed in Cameroon's forest areas which con...
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Many rural areas are experiencing rapid social-ecological changes, impacting livelihoods and creating less certain futures. Despite several decades of research on the use of locally collected environmental resources there have been few repeat studies, especially in South and Southern Africa, to consider how households may be altering such use along...
Article
An increase in the density and biomass of woody invasive plants contributes to the intensification of ecological impacts and can often be met with dissatisfaction by local communities. Despite their reliance on Acacia dealbata as a source of livelihood, villagers in the northern Eastern Cape have expressed concerns about the high densities of the s...
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Biological invasions and human land use both have the potential to drastically alter the patterns and processes of landscapes, driving habitat fragmentation and altering natural disturbance regimes. The proliferation of an invasive species depends on composition and configuration of the landscape, as well as the invasiveness of the species. To effe...
Chapter
The first of the 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. Although the numbers of poor people in the world has declined over the last few decades, it is still alarmingly high, being approximately 770 million in 2013 (Fig. 1) (World Bank in Understanding Poverty 2017). Cu...
Chapter
This book has sought to contribute to the policy and academic debates regarding the opportunities and usefulness of the NTFP sector in reducing poverty. We have argued in the opening chapters that it is unlikely that NTFP use and trade will provide a pathway out of poverty for the millions of poor in the Global South. However, it is unlikely that a...
Chapter
The debates around the value and importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are complex and ongoing. The complexity is a result of many factors, including the wide variety of species, products and uses, as well as the variety of constituencies and disciplines each seeing advantage from ‘co-opting’ the importance of the contribution of NTFPs t...