Christo Fabricius

Christo Fabricius
Nelson Mandela University | NMMU · Sustainability Research Unit

PhD

About

120
Publications
64,782
Reads
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3,719
Citations
Introduction
Community-based natural resource management. Human dimensions of wildlife. Adaptive management, developmental monitoring & evaluation in Africa
Additional affiliations
April 2018 - October 2020
World Wildlife Fund (Global)
Position
  • Researcher
November 2007 - present
Nelson Mandela University
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Http://sru.mandela.ac.ea
November 2007 - September 2021
Nelson Mandela University
Position
  • Researcher
Education
January 1994 - April 1997
University of Cape Town
Field of study
  • Conservation Biology
January 1987 - January 1989
University of the Witwatersrand
Field of study
  • Wildlife-habitat relationships

Publications

Publications (120)
Article
Full-text available
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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Here, we aim to identify and validate core principles and outcome indicators for agro-ecological landscape resilience. We address four related questions: (1) which outcome indicators and process principles feature most prominently in the seminal literature on resilient agro-ecological landscapes? (2) to what extent are these principles represented...
Article
Urbanization poses serious threats to biodiversity in many regions of the developing world. Understanding the factors that influence bird communities at the local and landscape level is important to guide urban planning efforts toward enhancing bird diversity. How bird species richness and diversity vary and the environmental factors that optimize...
Article
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Land use changes and the expansion of protected areas (PAs) have amplified the interaction between protected and unprotected areas worldwide. In this context, ‘interface processes’ (human–nature and cross‐boundary interactions inside and around PAs) have become central to issues around the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This s...
Article
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Increasing human demands for ecosystem services due to climate change, population growth, poverty, lack of employment, tourism, and concomitant coastal property development threatens adaptive capacity in South Africa’s coastlines. Adaptation strategies frequently propose ecosystem-based adaptation (EBA) as a model for transformative change. However...
Article
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Social conflicts related to biodiversity conservation and adaptation policy to climate change in coastal areas illustrate the need to reinforce understanding of the “matters of concern” as well as the “matters of fact”. In this paper, we argue that we must rethink adaptation from a new perspective, considering that humans together function as both...
Presentation
Protected areas (PAs) constitute the keystone of the conservation strategy throughout the world. However, the increasing landscape and habitat changes occurring around PAs have raised new conservation challenges. In many regions, including tropical savannas, interface areas (IAs) between PAs and the outside world are transformed by the expansion an...
Conference Paper
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“Silos are organisational units.. where there is a breakdown in communication, co-operation and co-ordination with external parties”. There is general agreement that working in silos is not such a good thing. Why then do academics academic institutions and governments continue to do stupid things, knowing they don't work? I argue this is because of...
Article
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A key aim of transdisciplinary research is for actors from science, policy and practice to co-evolve their understanding of a social–ecological issue, reconcile their diverse perspectives and co-produce appropriate knowledge to serve a common purpose. With its concurrent grounding in practice and science, transdisciplinary research represents a sig...
Article
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Environmental slogans can be seen as memes, i.e. cultural constructs that, not unlike genes, replicate themselves from one generation to the next. Memes may, however, be divergently interpreted and some memes can even have unwanted side-effects. We wanted to find out how supporters of an environmental non-governmental organisation (NGO) interpreted...
Article
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Jatropha-based biofuels have undergone a rapid boom-and-bust cycle in southern Africa. Despite strong initial support by governments, donors, and the private sector, there is a lack of empirical studies that compare the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of Jatropha's two dominant modes of production: large plantations and smallholder-based pr...
Article
In 2014, the Third International Conference on the resilience of social-ecological systems chose the theme "resilience and development: mobilizing for transformation." The conference aimed specifically at fostering an encounter between the experiences and thinking focused on the issue of resilience through a social and ecological system perspective...
Article
Full-text available
Fabricius, C. 2016. BOOK REVIEW: Resilience, Development and Global Change. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa:1–2.
Technical Report
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The purpose of this document is to develop an initial research investment strategy for the Tsitsa sub-catchment of the Mzimvubu catchment in the Maclear area of the Eastern Cape. The impetus was provided by plans to construct the tenth largest dam in South Africa, Ntabelanga Dam in the ~20 000 km2 catchment, situated in a high relief landscape with...
Article
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Stewardship is a popular term for the principles and actions aimed at improving sustainability and resilience of social-ecological systems at various scales and in different contexts. Participation in stewardship is voluntary, and is based on values of altruism and long-term benefits. At a global scale, ‘earth stewardship’ is viewed as a successor...
Chapter
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Adaptive co-management has its foundations in the convergence of two independently evolved concepts, adaptive management and co-management. In practice these two approaches frequently blend into adaptive co-management when successive cycles of participation, learning and doing occur. There are similarities and differences in linkages, temporal scop...
Article
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http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/FzKzKM8aMe5DZT34Bcqz/full - We facilitated the development of a co-designed and locally led community biodiversity inventory (CBI) in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, using nine design principles for participatory action research that promoted inclusivity. A questionnaire survey toward the end of the process found s...
Chapter
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The social–ecological systems that provide ecosystem services to society can be viewed as complex adaptive systems (CAS), characterized by a high level of interconnectedness, potential for non-linear change, and inherent uncertainty and surprise. This chapter focuses on whether resilience of ecosystem services is enhanced by management based on wha...
Article
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Jatropha is the latest in a list of "miracle crops" that have been promoted in southern Africa for their perceived development benefits. This was based on promises of high yields, low water requirement, ability to grow on marginal land and lack of competition with food. In less than 10 years, tens of thousands of hectares were acquired for jatropha...
Article
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Sustainability dialogues are useful alternatives to debate. The emphasis is on equality, empathy and challenging assumptions (not people), with learning and awareness as outcomes. Three principles and ten strategies are suggested, drawing on Kline's 'Time to Think' and Yankelowich's 'Magig of Dialogue' principles
Article
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Adaptive management is often advocated as a solution to understanding and managing complexity in social-ecological systems. Given the centrality of learning in adaptive management, it remains unclear how learning in adaptive management is understood to occur, who learns, what they learn about, and how they learn. We conducted a systematic review us...
Article
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Adaptive management is often advocated as a solution to understanding and managing complexity in social-ecological systems. Given the centrality of learning in adaptive management, it remains unclear how learning in adaptive management is understood to occur, who learns, what they learn about, and how they learn. We conducted a systematic review us...
Chapter
Society must adapt and learn to live in a world that is 4°C warmer. Many encourage profound changes in the way society is organised and responds to change, often using the language of transformation. How is transformation understood in the context of environmental change? What can be learned from a case study of transformative social and political...
Chapter
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Society must adapt and learn to live in a world that is 4°C warmer. Many encourage profound changes in the way society is organised and responds to change, often using the language of transformation. How is transformation understood in the context of environmental change? What can be learned from a case study of transformative social and politi...
Article
The success of adaptive management in conservation has been questioned and the objective-based management paradigm on which it is based has been heavily criticized. Soft systems thinking and social-learning theory expose errors in the assumption that complex systems can be dispassionately managed by objective observers and highlight the fact that c...
Article
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In this synthesis, we hope to accomplish two things: 1) reflect on how the analysis of the new archaeological cases presented in this special feature adds to previous case studies by revisiting a set of propositions reported in a 2006 special feature, and 2) reflect on four main ideas that are more specific to the archaeological cases: i) societal...
Article
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The South African game farming industry has grown exponentially since the 1960s and makes a significant contribution to South Africa's GDP. Recently, a number of challenges to the sustainability of the industry have emerged. This has led to concerns by environmental NGOs, academics and government officials about land degradation, hybridization, inb...
Article
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Tourism directed at bird watching (avitourism) has become increasingly popular. In many lower and middle-income countries, including South Africa, avitourism is being applied in an effort to simultaneously achieve community development and biodiversity conservation. This paper presents the results of an exploratory investigation of 11 community-bas...
Article
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This paper considers participatory modelling to integrate biodiversity conservation into land use planning and to facilitate the incorporation of ecological knowledge into public decision making for spatial planning. Réunion Island has experienced rapid urban and agricultural expansion, which threaten its unique biodiversity. In this context, we de...
Article
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"Designing broad-scale conservation corridors has become increasingly common as a way of conducting an assessment for achieving targets for the representation and persistence of nature. However, since many of these corridors must traverse agricultural and other production landscapes, planning and implementation are not trivial tasks. Most approache...
Chapter
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Social–ecological systems that are pushed beyond their limits have lost their ‘seeds of renewal’ that are necessary for moving toward a more productive and resilient state. Between 2001 and 2007 an inter-disciplinary group of academics, funders and development facilitators conducted participatory ‘action’ research with rural communities at Macubeni...
Article
The governance outcomes of natural resource co-management have been neither systematically monitored nor rigorously assessed. We identified system attributes and key variables that could form the basis for monitoring the governance dimension of adaptive co-management. A methodology for collaboratively monitoring these system attributes and key vari...
Article
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Humans have always depended upon natural ecosystems to supply a range of services useful for their survival and well-being. However, with widespread urbanisation, modernisation, and globalisation, along with the primacy of capitalist economic models, the obvious reliance of humans on ecosystems has become diluted for many, and difficult to maintain...
Article
The recognition of complexity and uncertainty in natural resource management has lead to the development of a wealth of conceptual frameworks aimed at integrated assessment and complex systems monitoring. Relatively less attention has however been given to methodological approaches that might facilitate learning as part of the monitoring process. T...
Article
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Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) focuses on the collective management of ecosystems to promote human well-being and aims to devolve authority for ecosystem management to the local (community) level. CBNRM therefore requires strong investments in capacity development of local institutions and governance structures. CBNRM has come...
Article
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We provide a synthesis of the papers in the Special Issue, the Communities Ecosystems and Livelihoods component of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), and other recent publications on the adaptive capacity of communities and their role in ecosystem management. Communities adapt because they face enormous challenges due to policies, conflicts,...
Article
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The detrimental impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) on ecosystem goods and services and local and regional economies are well documented. However, the use of IAS by rural communities is little understood, and rarely factored into IAS control programmes. Understanding the use of IAS by rural communities and factoring these into cost-benefit mode...
Article
Access to secure and affordable energy supplies is widely acknowledged as a critical foundation for sustainable development; inadequate access exacerbates household poverty. In the developing world poor households are frequently reliant upon fuel wood for all or most of their energy needs. However, national poverty alleviation policies commonly do...
Article
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"Local ecological knowledge (LEK) can shed light on ecosystem change, especially in under-researched areas such as South Africas Wild Coast. However, for ecosystem planning purposes, it is necessary to assess the accuracy and validity of LEK, and determine where such knowledge is situated in a community, and how evenly it is spread. Furthermore, it...
Article
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The “truth ” is elusive when dealing with complex, dynamic systems (Kay et al. 1999). Researchers, natural resource managers, and environmental practitioners face a number of challenges, including how to deal with information “fuzziness,” how to reconcile seemingly contradictory data, how to smooth over geographic and spatial variability or “lumpin...
Article
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The Southern African Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (SAfMA, http://www.maweb.org) was undertaken at a variety of spatial scales, from the regional (with sub-Saharan Africa as the assessment area) to the local (at the scale of a village, single protected area, or micro watershed). Each of these scales had its own stakeholders and thus its own key t...
Article
Complex systems are shaped by cross-scale interactions, nonlinear feedbacks, and uncertainty, among other factors. Transdisciplinary approaches that combine participatory and conventional methods and democratize knowledge to enable diverse inputs, including those from local, informal experts, are essential tools in understanding such systems. The m...
Article
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[From introduction:] The intensive harvesting of medicinal plants for commercial trade in South Africa poses a threat to many species. Cultivation has therefore been considered as an alternative to collection in the wild. This paper aims to assess the feasibility of cultivating medicinal plants in the Nqabara Administrative Area on South Africa's W...
Article
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The Southern African Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (SAfMA) evaluated the relationships between ecosystem services and human well-being at multiple scales, ranging from local through to sub-continental. Trends in ecosystem services (fresh water, food, fuel-wood, cultural and biodiversity) over the period 1990-2000 were mixed across scales. Freshwa...
Article
Full-text available
Complex systems are shaped by cross-scale interactions, nonlinear feedbacks, and uncertainty, among other factors. Transdisciplinary approaches that combine participatory and conventional methods and democratize knowledge to enable diverse inputs, including those from local, informal experts, are essential tools in understanding such systems. The m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Complex social-ecological systems are shaped by cross-scale interactions, non-linear feedbacks, and fast and slow changing variables. Transdisciplinary approaches that combine participatory and conventional methods, and which 'democratise' knowledge to enable inputs from local, informal experts are essential tools in understanding such systems. How...
Article
Full-text available
EXECUTIVESUMMARYƒ The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA)is a four-year international initiative to evaluate the state of Earth’s ecosystems across multiple scales and the current capacity and future potential of ecosystems to deliver services of value to people. Central to the MA is a conceptual framework that describes the relationships between...