James Nelson Blignaut

James Nelson Blignaut
Stellenbosch University | SUN · School of Public Leadership

DCom, MCom, BCom(hons), BCom

About

201
Publications
95,094
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5,130
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1996 - December 2017
University of Pretoria
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (201)
Article
Studies addressing the economic impacts of invasive alien species are biased towards ex-post assessments of the costs and benefits of control options, but ex-ante assessments are also required to deal with potentially damaging invaders. The polyphagous shot hole borer Euwallacea fornicatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a recent and potentially dam...
Article
Full-text available
Context Regenerating the planet through natural resource protection, restoration and prudent land management must currently be one of the most important policy and operational objectives at all scales from local to international level. The beef cattle production sector has both an important role and a responsibility to this end as well. Objective...
Preprint
Full-text available
Few economic assessments have been developed to inform national priorities on the management of high-impact, early-stage invasive alien species (IAS). Economic assessments are biased towards ex post assessments of the costs and benefits of control options and are in need of refinement to deal with potentially vigorous invaders with considerable unc...
Article
We developed a two-biome (grasslands and fynbos) system dynamics model simulating invasions of three invasive alien plant species-black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) and two pine species (Pinus patula and Pinus pinaster)-and some of the consequences. The model considers three components: invasion dynamics; revenue from the sale of woody products derived...
Article
As societies develop, the problem of securing and mobilising adequate water resources to support and sustain economic and social activities increases in complexity. As a cost effectiveness measure the use of the Unit Reference Value (URV) has become standard practice in South African water resource management and development. It is informative and...
Article
Invasive alien plants (IAPs) compromise the productive capability of a land parcel from both an economic and a biodiversity perspective. Given the magnitude of degradation and the benefits of landscape-scale restoration, a unified approach among stakeholders is required to upscale restoration efforts. Seeking such an approach, we compare the effici...
Chapter
Considerable advances have been made since the first estimates of the impacts of invasive alien plants on water resources in the early 1990s. A large body of evidence shows that invasive alien plants can increase transpiration and evaporation losses and thus reduce river flows and mean annual runoff. Riparian invasions, and those in areas where gro...
Article
The current generation of Homo sapiens is paying the bill for the foolishness of, among other things, the Ceteris paribus assumption which postulates that natural capital is infinite and the quality thereof constant. The outcome is an unprecedented ecological overshoot as well as rapid and widespread degradation and fragmentation of both ecological...
Chapter
Full-text available
The potential of scaling conservation agriculture (CA), for long-term food security, remains under-investigated within the context of agricultural food value chains in South Africa. To scale the use of CA an understanding of the current agricultural value chains, their functioning, regulatory framework and constraints, is essential and this raises...
Article
Full-text available
We propose a method for assessing the persistence of species where the resource is harvested. Four sustainability measures are employed, namely a population measure, a harvest measure, a profitability measure and a catchability measure. These are used to assess the sustainability of two natural resources representing terrestrial and aquatic species...
Article
Full-text available
Does restoration pay? We seek to answer this question by reviewing the benefits and costs of 37 economic values derived from five groups of actual restoration-related case studies in South Africa at various scales. The mean opportunity costs of not restoring are the following (a negative value implies an economic loss to society): i) local level si...
Article
The disconnect between land managers bearing the cost of restoration and land management, and society benefitting from the ecosystem services flowing from natural capital, leads to sub-optimal investments in restoration and land management. To bridge this disconnect a system involving easement agreements is proposed whereby the issuer of the easeme...
Article
Investment in natural resource restoration contributes to building the resilience of rural livelihoods. Surface soil loss, Gullies and dongas, caused by soil erosion in various landscapes have a negative impact on the production capacity of the land and resilience of the community. This study analyses the benefits and costs of reducing soil erosion...
Article
The spread of invasive alien plant species (IAPs) contributes to the management complexity experienced in primary agriculture and increases the costs of maintaining the land in its productive state. Equally important to the clearing of IAPs are the land use options post-clearing. This study was conducted on private farms at the Mokolo River catchme...
Article
Full-text available
The spread of invasive alien plant species (IAPs) contributes to the management complexity experienced in primary agriculture and increases the costs of maintaining the land in its productive state. Equally important to the clearing of IAPs are the land use options post-clearing. This study was conducted on private farms at the Mokolo River catchme...
Article
We analyse the impact of failing to control invasive alien plants (IAPs) on the water supply to the Berg River and De Hoop Dams, in other words, the opportunity cost of not clearing IAPs in these two catchments. To do this we used models to assess and compare the impact of current and future invasions on inflows into the dams. Although the clearing...
Preprint
Full-text available
To build an economy, to build a nation: that was the quest yesterday, that is the quest today, and that will still be the quest tomorrow. The entire world, including South Africa, seeks to address this quest with an eye on the future. Yet it is doing so, carrying the baggage of the past. There is no escape from the past. We are where we are as a gl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Lawlessness is, among others, the i) disregard of the rule of law, ii) the disrespect of people and systems, iii) the active presence of anomie (the breakdown of the social standards necessary for regulating behaviour), and iv) the presence of a mindset that there is no moral or legal boundaries, and if there are, they do not apply to the one, or t...
Preprint
Full-text available
South Africa, it is time to recognise that neither quick fixes nor meek business-as-usual solutions exist for your challenges. It is time to get and to be radical. Radical with the aim to heal and to bring healing. Radical with a vision for the future grounded in action today. Restorative action. Restoration commences with the acknowledgement that...
Poster
Full-text available
A comparison between Rwanda and South Africa and the role restoration can play to heal a nation.
Presentation
Full-text available
Restoration, also of soil, has a beneficial economic impact and benefit to human health
Technical Report
Full-text available
Rwanda has set itself, as per the Vision 2050, the ambitious but laudable goal to be a developed climate-resilient, low-carbon economy by 2050 . This goal is to be achieved through a range of programmes of action, most of which are land and natural resource based. One of these being the implementation and operation of a country-wide payments for ec...
Article
The South African government intends to develop the Mzimvubu Water Project (MWP) which includes the construction of two dams (the Ntabelanga and Laleni dams) in the Tsitsa River, Eastern Cape province, South Africa. This investment is believed to be important to unlock the economic potential of this rural, poor and underdeveloped area. We consider...
Chapter
Full-text available
The potential of sustaining smallholder farmers (SHFs), for long-term food security remains, within the context of rising modern food value chains, particularly in Africa, a threat. Support for a greener, lower carbon economy that creates jobs and improves human well-being as part of a sustainable and socially inclusive stable economic development...
Article
Researchers have increasingly acknowledged the relative strength of ‘hybrid’ approaches to scenario analysis for exploring the futures of coupled human-nature systems. In this paper, we explain, demonstrate, and provisionally evaluate the usefulness of a simple analytical framework, based on five categories of capital assets, as part of a protocol...
Data
An assessment of the costs and benefits of using Acacia saligna(Port Jackson) and recycled thermoplastics for the production of wood polymer composites in the Western Cape province, South Africa
Article
Full-text available
Environmental degradation caused by invasive alien plants must be remedied in time before the land becomes too heavily degraded for restoration to be successful. This study investigates the cost-benefit analysis of restoring natural capital through clearing invasive alien plants and transforming them into value-added products (VAPs), such as wood c...
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses the efficiency of contractors hired by the Natural Resource Management programme of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA:NRM) in clearing invasive alien plants. We analyse the efficiencies of 49 contractors in two catchments for three time periods, namely 2003 to 2006, 2007 to 2010 and 2011 to 2014. It was found that the...
Article
Full-text available
Acacia saligna (Port Jackson) is one of the most pervasive IAPs in South Africa. The government’s control efforts have by and large not been co-financed by the private sector due to a lack of incentives. Here we develop a system dynamics model to assess the costs and benefits of using the invasive Acacia saligna for the production of wood polymer c...
Article
Full-text available
The invasive Prosopis spp. tree is one of the major causes of disturbance affecting the Orange River water management areas in the Northern Cape, South Africa. These disturbances affect natural capital, such as reducing the stream flow of the Orange River, causing a decline in biodiversity of the native Nama Karoo vegetation, consuming excessive wa...
Article
The restoration of natural capital is increasingly becoming important to counter ongoing land degradation. The Natural Resource Management programme of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA: NRM) has long been investing in options to improve the effectiveness of active restoration. The aim of this study is to conduct a cost-benefit analysis...
Article
The Midmar Dam within the uMngeni Catchment, KwaZulu-Natal is important for water provisioning and recreational use. In 2014, an estimated 60 ha of the dam was infested with Egeria densa, which can spread at a rate of 50% per annum under optimal conditions. E. densa limits access to, and the recreational use of, the dam. We use the travel cost meth...
Article
Acacia saligna (Port Jackson) is one of the most pervasive IAPs in South Africa. The government’s control efforts have by and large not been co-financed by the private sector due to a lack of incentives. Here we develop a system dynamics model to assess the costs and benefits of using the invasive Acacia saligna for the production of wood polymer c...
Article
Coal-based electricity is an integral part of daily life in South Africa and globally. However, the use of coal for electricity generation carries a heavy cost for social and ecological systems that goes far beyond the price we pay for electricity. We developed a model based on a system dynamics approach for understanding the measurable and quantif...
Presentation
Full-text available
A review of the use of system dynamics within resource economics with the specific focus on restoration
Article
Full-text available
We review some of the most commonly known models in restoration ecology from the past 20 years. From these, we seek to identify essential elements required for the scaling-up and mainstreaming of restoration and, based on that, develop a new framework that could be used to assist in the realization of long-lasting and effective restoration policies...
Article
We used locally-sourced and other relevant information to value ecosystem services provided by South Africa's terrestrial, freshwater and estuarine habitats. Our preliminary estimates suggest that these are worth at least R275 billion per annum to South Africans. Notwithstanding benefits to the rest of the world, natural systems provide a major sou...
Article
Natural capital provides various ecosystem goods and services essential to the survival of mankind. In most cases, however, the markets for natural capital are incomplete. As a result, ecosystem goods and services are being enjoyed ''freely ". Here we assess the economic value of the ecosystem goods and services of Mogale's Gate Biodiversity Centre...
Article
South Africa has embarked on a large-scale government programme to control invasive alien plants (IAPs). However, to date, very little cost recovery has occurred through the development of value adding industries and the sale of various wood products and bioenergy. Using the Agulhas Plain as a case study, we assess the feasibility of using IAP biom...
Article
More than 60% of northern Zululand is tribal land with a substantial area falling within protected areas. Much of the land is invaded by invasive alien plant species (IAPs) such as Chromolaena odorata and Lantana camara. Most of these species do not have any economic value and compromises communal livelihoods and biodiversity. This paper aims to in...
Article
A shortage of water currently threatens the development of the South African economy and the well-being of its people. Climate change, land degradation and an inherently semi-arid, variable climate are making it increasingly difficult for water service providers to deliver sufficient quantity and quality of water to meet escalating demand. Investme...
Article
Twenty years ago it was argued that rotational wheat production systems will reduce the economic risks to farmers and restore soil quality. Here we reflect on this assertion by analysing the evidence of a 12-year data window within a trial on a mixture of crop rotation systems at Langgewens Research Farm, South Africa. It was been found that produc...
Article
Bush encroachment and alien plant invasions alter the composition and/or balance of species in natural ecosystems and impact biodiversity, land productivity and water availability. Therefore, the appropriate control and management of bush encroachment and alien plant invasions can restore ecosystems services and enhance the provision of timber and...
Chapter
This book provides an updated assessment of trends in the adaptation and adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) in different countries of Africa. It provides information on the contribution of CA systems to building resilience in a changing climate while increasing productivity, profitability and ecological sustainability. The book covers: the s...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien plants have a negative impact on ecosystem goods and services derived from ecosystems. Consequently, the aggressive spread of invasive alien plants (IAPs) in the river catchments of South Africa is a major threat to, inter alia, water security. The Olifants River catchment is one such a catchment that is under pressure because of the...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien plants (IAPs) like Rooikrans (Acacia Cyclops) have several undesirable effects on both the natural environment and the social, economic and cultural wellness of society in the De Hoop nature reserve of the Western Cape Province. A few of these negative effects are: the change in coastal sediment dynamics, the change in seed dispersal...
Article
Full-text available
This study estimates the opportunity costs of using woody invasive alien plants (IAPs) for value-added products by estimating the net economic return from the value-added industries in South Africa. By 2008, IAPs were estimated at the national level to cover an area of 1 813 million condensed hectares in South Africa. A market has formed around the...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we use a predator–prey model to simulate intersectoral dynamics, with the global steel sector as the prey that supplies inputs and the automotive sector as the predator that demands its inputs. A further prey, an additional upstream supply sector, namely the iron ore sector, is added to reflect the implications of scarcity and resour...
Article
p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt; text-align: justify; line-height: 150%;"> Invasive alien plants have a negative impact on ecosystem goods and services derived from ecosystems. Consequently, the aggressive spread of invasive alien plants (IAPs) in the river catchments of South Africa is a major threat to, inter alia, water securit...
Article
span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 107%; font-family: "Times New Roman",serif; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-ZA; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">Invasive alien plants (IAPs) like Rooikrans (Acacia Cyclops) have several undesirable effects on both the nat...
Article
p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;">This study estimates the opportunity costs of using woody invasive alien plants (IAPs) for value-added products by estimating the net economic return from the value-added industries in South Africa. By 2008, IAPs were estimated at the national level to cover an area of 1 813 million condensed hectares...
Article
p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify; line-height: 150%;"> In this paper, we use a predator–prey model to simulate intersectoral dynamics, with the global steel sector as the prey that supplies inputs and the automotive sector as the predator that demands its inputs. A further prey, an additional upstream supply sector, namely the iron or...
Article
Full-text available
p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt; line-height: 150%;">The economic and environmental effects of a carbon tax in South Africa: A dynamic cge modelling approach South Africa’s National Treasury released its Carbon Tax Policy Paper in May 2013. The paper proposed a R120/tCO2-equiv. levy on coal, gas and petroleum fuels. Here, we model...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Kafue River Basin is an important tributary of the Zambezi River and economically is a core part of the Republic of Zambia. Inadequate infrastructure, environmental and local water stresses, local standards of governance, a lack of social and gender equity and climate factors are the most important influences on rural poverty. With the lack of...
Presentation
Full-text available
A comparative analysis of the cost of restoration with the economic benefits thereof.
Article
Abu Dhabi, marketed as a centre of economic development in its geographic area during the post-oil era, is renowned for being a choice destination of high value individuals and tourists, due to its rich coastal and marine resources as well as the high quality of services. Outbreaks of harmful algae blooms (HAB) (red tides) due to increased eutrophi...
Article
Rhino populations are at a critical level and new approaches are needed to ensure their survival. This study conducts a review and categorisation of policies for the management of rhinos. Twenty-seven policies are identified and classified into in-situ (reserve-based) and ex-situ (market-based) policies. The policies are then evaluated based on fou...
Research
Full-text available
This report addresses each of the following aspects:  it offers a brief context of the agricultural and mining sectors from a historical, legal, economic and environmental perspective;  it provides a national perspective on the extent of competition for natural resources between the two sectors by examining high-level spatial evidence of current...
Article
South Africa’s National Treasury released its Carbon Tax Policy Paper in May 2013. The paper proposed a R120/tCO2-equiv. levy on coal, gas and petroleum fuels. Here, we model the possible impacts of such a tax on the South African economy using the computable general equilibrium (CGE) 53-sector model of the University of Pretoria’s Department of Ec...
Article
This study estimates the opportunity costs of using woody invasive alien plants (lAPs) for value-added products by estimating the net economic return from the value-added industries in South Africa. By 2008, IAPs were estimated at the national level to cover an area of 1 813 million condensed hectares in South Africa. A market has formed around the...
Article
Commonly cited requirements for bridging the "science-practice divide" between practitioners and scientists include: political support, communication and experimentation. The Subtropical Thicket Restoration Programme was established in 2004 to catalyse investment in large-scale restoration of degraded subtropical thicket in the Eastern Cape, South...
Article
There is considerable debate in the literature over whether or not to legalise the trade in rhino horns. Here a system dynamics model is developed that considers five components: rhino abundance, rhino demand, a price model, an income model and a supply model. The results indicate that income elasticities are much greater than previously observed,...
Article
In this paper, we estimate the price elasticity of electricity for various industrial sectors of the South African economy from 2002 to 2011. The data used include sectoral electricity consumption data and electricity tariff data, both courtesy of Eskom as well as output data based on national statistics. The most important contribution this paper...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Required: An acknowledgment of the fact that: Farming methods, irrespective of the scale, that have a high environmental demand and are largely dependent on external inputs are leading to the depletion and degradation of natural resources; this is unsustainable and irresponsible, If the health of the natural resources, especially soil, is compromis...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The current development of a Conservation Agriculture (CA) policy for South Africa is a positive step for the country, as it moves to a sustainable agriculture regime. It should be recognized, however, that the conditions of a transition towards more sustainable agriculture and food system are a matter of intense debate and of utmost importance to...
Research
Full-text available
http://www.sagreenfund.org.za/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Sustainable-Farming-in-SA-Lit-Review-Asset-Research.compressed.pdf