Catalytic fund enhances catchment research, development and innovation for ecological infrastructure

18 December 2017

Participants mapping out research programme RDIThe South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is coordinating a project funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to establish research, development and innovation (RDI) platforms for ecological infrastructure in the uMzimvubu and Berg-Breede river catchments.  The project was launched in 2016 with both catchments having completed landscape situation assessments including mapping out of ecological infrastructure related research needs, institutions already working in the catchments, stakeholder networks and the support needs for existing communities of practice.

Both the uMzimvubu and Berg-Breede river catchments have shown progress since the inception of the project. In the uMzimvubu catchment, the initial phase has helped the uMzimvubu Catchment Partnership Programme (UCPP) launch a research programme to facilitate strategic innovation in the catchment. Through a workshop, practical and theoretical experiences of participants from different backgrounds was harnessed to develop a responsive and impact driven research model. This “learning-by-doing” approach enables participants to repeat and adapt the process to ensure that relevant research is conducted to meet the needs of implementers. The workshop used a methodology developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute and the International Services for National Agricultural Research based on practical and personal experiences to focus impact driven research across different landscapes.

Notable developments in the Berg-Breede catchment includes establishing platforms that link researchers and implementers, identifying pilot studies, and establishing an outreach programme for the broader communities living in the catchment. The investment in these RDI platforms contributes to water security as both the uMzimvubu and Berg-Breede river catchments are part of the network of Strategic Water Source Areas which spreads across South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The RDI platform has helped to ensure all role players are engaged to deliver maximum impact in the catchments.  

For more information on:

  • The uMzimvubu catchment RDI activities please click here
  • The Berg-Breede catchment RDI activities please click here
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