Research & Publications

2017 Guesthouse brochure

Rosie Downey

Brochure for Guesthouse.
5142
Education & Learning

Africa’s game changers and the catalysts of social and system innovation

Prof. Mark Swilling

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

Swilling, M. 2016. Africa’s game changers and the catalysts of social and system innovation. Ecology and Society 21(1):37.

Abstract: It is widely recognized that many African economies are being transformed by rapid economic growth driven largely by rising demand for the abundant natural resources scattered across the African continent. I critically review the mainstream game changing dynamics driving this process, with special reference to a set of influential policy-oriented documents. This is followed by an analysis of less-recognized game-changing dynamics that have, in turn, been affected by the mainstream game-changing dynamics.

5200
Sustainable Cities

Comparative Studies in Sustainable Living (NEPAL)

Rosie Downey

Brochure for 2016 short course: Comparative Studies in Sustainable Living (NEPAL). A journey in ancient systems and modern realities, this course is structured over a 16 day trek to a remote and highly traditional rural region in order to provide a lived understanding of the transition between traditional, localised economies and the modern globalised economy.

5099
Education & Learning

Decoupling 2: Technologies, Opportunities and Policy Options

Fact Sheet summarising the Decoupling 2 report for the International Resource Panel

1705
Resource Efficiencies

Multi-Scale Governance of Sustainable Natural Resource Use

Stefan Bringezu, Janez Potocnik, Heinz Schandl, Yonglong Lu, Anu Ramaswami, Mark Swilling, Sangwon Suh

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

Multi-Scale Governance of Sustainable Natural Resource Use - Challenges and Opportunities for Monitoring and Institutional Development at the National and Global Level. Published in inSustainability 8(8):778, August 2016. 

In a globalized economy, the use of natural resources is determined by the demand of modern production and consumption systems, and by infrastructure development. Sustainable natural resource use will require good governance and management based on sound scientific information, data and indicators. There is a rich literature on natural resource management, yet the national and global scale and macro-economic policy making has been underrepresented. We provide an overview of the scholarly literature on multi-scale governance of natural resources, focusing on the information required by relevant actors from local to global scale.

5201
Resource Efficiencies

Presentation to the Sustainability Institute: Prof. Paul Ekins 'Making a Reality of Transformation to a Resource-Efficient Future'

Prof. Paul Ekins

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

A presentation to the Sustainability Institute ‘Conversations in Soil, Soul and Society in June 2016 by Prof. Paul Ekins - "Making a Reality of Transformation to a Resource-Efficient Future".

5148
Resource Efficiencies

Short course brochure: Comparative Studies in Regenerative Food Systems (INDIA)

The course will be run outside of the Stellenbosch region and focuses on providing participants with a direct and hands-on experience of sustainable management practices in food systems which are vastly different from their own.

5115
Food Systems

Short course brochure: Comparative Studies in Regenerative Food Systems (INDIA) 2016

Short course brochure: Comparative Studies in Regenerative Food Systems (INDIA) 2016. The course will be run outside of the Stellenbosch region and focuses on providing participants with a direct and hands-on experience of sustainable management practices in food systems which are vastly different from their own.

5143
Food Systems

Short course brochure: Complexity Theory & Systems Thinking

Amelia Pretorius

This is a theoretical and conceptual course that addresses the notion of complexity which, in turn, has become a vast and intricate literature that spans the globe, cuts across all disciplines and means many different things to different people. The orientation of this course is to locate complexity within a philosophical and ‘history of science’ context, and to distinguish complexity from more modernist interpretations such as chaos theory and most systems theories. Importantly, this course provides the primary conceptual framework that students will require to fully understand sustainability in general and sustainable development in particular.

5104
Education & Learning

Short course brochure: Corporate Governance & Sustainability

This module will investigate the drivers, approaches and barriers for corporate actors to realise sustainable business practices with special emphasis on developing country contexts and particularly South Africa.

5112

Short course brochure: Food security & Globalised Agriculture

This course brings together some of South Africa’s leading thinkers on issues of food security, hunger, nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Course participants will be equipped to analyse and critically evaluate the different options for ensuring food security from a sustainable development perspective, within a globalised food system.

5109
Food Systems

Short course brochure: Food Systems Transitions

This course aims to explore the various responses to unsustainability in the food system and critical thinking skills to contextualize and assess these responses. Participants will engage with and critique food system transitions (including governance, policy and ideological positions) within the context of food security and food system sustainability.

5110
Food Systems

Short course brochure: Sustainable Development

This course will provide course participants with an overview of the most significant global environmental, social and economic challenges that face humankind, and an insight into the solutions suggested by the universal commitment to sustainable development. Course participants will be able to recognise, understand and apply the divergent interpretations of sustainable development that currently exist.

5103
Education & Learning

Short course brochure: Sustainable Enterprise

This course will investigate the concept of Social Entrepreneurship/Enterprise, and what this looks like both in the developed as well as in the developing world, with special emphasis on Social Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

5113
Social Innovation

Short course brochure: Systems & Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture

This course introduces the philosophy and principles underlying alternative sustainable farming systems (e.g. organic farming, biodynamics) and applies them to different crop and animal production systems through case study teaching.

 

5114
Food Systems

Small holder farmers and organic agriculture in South Africa

Candice Kelly and Luke Metelerkamp

This paper is a systematic review of published literature on organic agriculture in South Africa. It represents the first step of a Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammen arbeit (GIZ) funded project led by the Southern African Food Lab (SAFL), under the auspices of Stellenbosch University, on the future of smallholder organic agriculture in South Africa.

3987

Community & Food: The Sustainability Institute Cookbook

Eduardo Shimahara

Document type: MPhil Theses

This cookbook is a small version of a Masters Thesis written by Eduardo Shimahara to be launched at the end of 2015. It is part of a thesis that is not yet published, please do not distribute this copy. The full work is under a Creative Commons license and free for downloading.

3965
Food Systems

Developmental States and Sustainability Transitions: Prospects of a Just Transition in South Africa

Swilling, Josephine Musango & Jeremy Wakeford

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

To cite this article: Mark Swilling, Josephine Musango & Jeremy Wakeford (2015): Developmental States and Sustainability Transitions: Prospects of a Just Transition in South Africa, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning

Since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2007/2008 two key trends have made it necessary to reconceptualize the relationship between development and sustainability: the rapid rise of the so-called ‘BRICS’ and the emergence of the green economy discourse and now since 2015 the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. To address this challenge with respect to developing economies in the global South, this paper endeavours to fuse the core conceptual concerns of the developmental state and sustainability transition literatures. It is argued that a just transition would consist of a dual commitment to human well-being (with respect to income, education and health) and sustainability (with respect to decarbonization, resource efficiency and ecosystem restoration).

5203

Turning points: Exploring power transitions in an incremental upgrading process in Enkanini, Stellenbosch

Berry Steenkamp Wessels

Document type: MPhil Theses

This study explored whether co-production of knowledge could contribute to shifting power from government to citizens in an incremental upgrading process. It is premised on the notion that such a shift is desirable.

4007

2014 Research Results Colloquiem

Programme for the 2014 Research Colloquiem - papers presented by students who have completed their Mphil theses.

1858
Education & Learning

Abstracts for 2014 Research Colloquiem

Prof. Mark Swilling

Document type: MPhil Theses

1871
Education & Learning

African Union Resolution on Green Economy

Document type: Green Economy Research & Initiatives

African Union Resolution on Green Economy adopted at AU Summit of Ministers of Finance and Economics, Abuja, February 2014

1934

Assessing Global Land Use

Assessing Global Land Use - Report published in 2014 by International Resource Panel. This report manages to synthesize the literature on global land use and the literature on soil quality. Mark Swilling was a co-lead author.

1611
Resource Efficiencies

Assessing Global Land Use - Factsheet

Factsheet that summarizes the key elements of the International Resource Panel report on Assessing Global Land Use.

1707
Resource Efficiencies

Assessing the impact of sustainable farming techniques on smallholder farm enterprises in Zimbabwe

Fanuel Masunda

Document type: MPhil Theses

The aim of this thesis was to investigate if the Conservation Agriculture (CA) project being implemented by Zimbabwe Farmers Alliance Trust, a non-governmental organisation, has improved the livelihoods of participant farmers. The research was done in the Mazowe, Chiweshe area where the organisation has been working with farmers with the key objectives of improving food security, livelihoods and stabilising production for the rural households. The research also looked at production trends and adoption levels of CA in the area. Yields were viewed as an important element since food security of rural communities is constantly under threat because of droughts. A key element of the thesis was primary research done in Mazowe Chiweshe Ward 4, where farmers were interviewed to get information on their experiences with the CA project

4001
Food Systems

Crisis, Cities and Design

Marjorie Naidoo

Document type: MPhil Assignments

Assignment submitted for the Applied Economics Module, 2014

1952
Sustainable Cities

Early Childhood Development in the Winelands

Local newspaper article on the impact of the SI's ECD work on the wider Winelands regions. The Bolander Wednesday July 9 2014.

1563
Education & Learning

Ecocultural assemblages in the urbanizing global south

Prof. Mark Swilling

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

Published in book: Pretty, J., Boehme, S Bharucha, Z. 2014. Ecocultures: Blueprints for Sustainable Communities. New York: Routledge.

There is now serious doubt that the resource base and environmental conditions will continue to exist for developing country cities and their respective hinterlands to emulate the cities that established the norms of urban modernity in the developed world. An overview of the so-called second urbanization wave and its impacts on the global South (both rural, urban and peri-urban), followed by a brief conceptual discussion of the notion of ‘assemblage’ as a way of making sense of the process of reconfiguring - through everyday improvisations - the complex relations between people, materials, nature and cultures. This then provides the context for discussing a range of cases that help to illustrate (rather than rigorously demonstrate) the multiple ecocultural responses to the second urbanization wave. It will be argued that these responses provide signals and lessons for those interested in reconciling the process of rapid urbanization in developing countries with a potentially more just transition to ecologically sustainable modes of urban living.

5206

Ecological Food Sense: Connections between food waste flows and food production in Enkanini Informal Settlement, Stellenbosch

Claire Mollatt

Document type: MPhil Theses

In situ Informal Settlement Upgrading (ISU) was explored in this thesis, focussing on its relevance to waste service upgrading options immediately available and practically implementable for residents of Enkanini, a poorly serviced township (slum) in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Household food waste (kitchen scraps) was chosen as a key point of entry for exploring the context and viability of in situ improvement of solid waste management services in the area. This was done by investigating ways biological and social aspects of soil quality and food waste management can be incrementally improved in the settlement. Transdisciplinary methodology, Participatory Action Learning and Social Learning perspectives, combined with ecological thinking were used to explore different methods of managing food waste in Enkanini. 

4004

EY Paper 2: Making sense of undernutrition and overconsumption

Luke Metelerkamp

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

Compiled by Luke Metelerkamp on behalf of the Sustainability Institute for EY Food Systems Series: Thought leadership for corporate engagement in global food systems.

Food system series: Paper II. February 2014. As the severity of the challenges surrounding food systems increases, in particular issues relating to the pricing of, access to and preferences for nutritious food, so too will the challenges facing business in regions where food system dysfunction is most acute. In order to better understand the implications this could have for the private sector, this report seeks to outline the complex linkages between nutrition, society, business and the environment.

Within this series

  • Paper I: A sustainability review of the global food system
  • Paper II: Making sense of under-nutrition and over-consumption: agenda setting for sustainability in the food sector
  • Paper III: 1913 land act – The state of South African land ownership 100 years on
  • Paper IV: Consolidation in the food system – risks, responsibilities and opportunities
  • Paper V: Soil and sustainability – what every CSR manager needs to know
3983
Food Systems

EY Paper 3: 1913 Land Act - the scale of South African land ownership 100 years on.

Luke Metelerkamp

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

EY Food Systems Series: Thought leadership for corporate engagement in global food systems.

Food system series: Paper III. 2014. The 1913 Native Land Act put in place a series of laws and forced removals which meant that by 1993, white people and the apartheid state had annexed over 87% of South African land. This left just 13% of the country’s land available for ownership by the black and coloured people, a group which represented 80% of the population. The legacy of the Act is not simply about land, but almost a century of social, economic and spiritual disempowerment.

Within this series

  • Paper I: A sustainability review of the global food system
  • Paper II: Making sense of under-nutrition and over-consumption: agenda setting for sustainability in the food sector
  • Paper III: 1913 land act – The state of South African land ownership 100 years on
  • Paper IV: Consolidation in the food system – risks, responsibilities and opportunities
  • Paper V: Soil and sustainability – what every CSR manager needs to know
3989
Food Systems

EY Paper 4: Consolidation in the food system - Risks , opportunities, and responsibilities

Luke Metelerkamp

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

EY Food Systems Series: Thought leadership for corporate engagement in global food systems.

Paper IV: From farms to retail, consolidation along the length of the value chains that together make up the food system is a global phenomenon. The findings of Paper 1 in this series identified value chain consolidation as a high priority area for further research. This report aims to elaborate on the consolidation taking place within the South African food system, the goal being to understand better where current power resides within the system and how this could (and should) shift in future. These questions are directly addressed through the analysis of two key value chains; namely, maize and chicken. These two products, both foundational, interconnected but also indicative of different systems illustrate the broad state of play within the South African food value chain at present. With particular reference to recent trends, the research also provides an overview of some of the major power brokers in the South African food value chain.

Within this series

  • Paper I: A sustainability review of the global food system
  • Paper II: Making sense of under-nutrition and over-consumption: agenda setting for sustainability in the food sector
  • Paper III: 1913 land act – The state of South African land ownership 100 years on
  • Paper IV: Consolidation in the food system – risks, responsibilities and opportunities
  • Paper V: Soil and sustainability – what every CSR manager needs to know
3988
Food Systems

Global Food Systems

Luke Metelerkamp

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

Commissioned by EY (Ernst & Young) this review of the global food systems literature and experiences was compiled by an SI research team led by Luke Metlerkamp

1821
Food Systems

Greening African Economies

Prof. Mark Swilling

Document type: Green Economy Research & Initiatives

Article by Mark Swilling in the Heinrich Boll Foundation publication Perspectives based on his speech at the Africa Union Summit of Ministers of Economics and Finance in Abuja, February 2014.

1605
Sustainable Cities

Greening African Economies: reflections on an emerging contested discourse

Prof. Mark Swilling

Document type: Green Economy Research & Initiatives

Talk by Mark Swilling at African Union Summit in Abuja, 28 March 2014.

Edited version of a talk by Mark Swilling to the side event on Greening Africa's economies and structural transformation€ at the joint AU/UNECA Conference of Ministers of Finance and Economics, Abuja, 28 March 2014.

1757

Implications of increasing world oil scarcity for national food security in South Africa

Jeremy Wakeford, Mark Swilling

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

Published in: J. Wakeford & M. Swilling (2014) Implications of increasingworld oil scarcity for national food security in South Africa, Agrekon: AgriculturalEconomics Research, Policy and Practice in Southern Africa, 53:4, 68-91, DOI:10.1080/03031853.2014.974626

Abstract: Economic and social stability depend on a healthy, functioning and affordable system of agricultural production and food distribution. In recent years, however, international and domestic food prices have risen considerably, partly as a result of rising oil prices. A growing body of literature indicates that world oil supplies will become increasingly scarce and expensive in the coming years, due to the depletion of easily extractable reserves. This poses a significant threat to agricultural production in South Africa, which is overwhelmingly derived from oil-intensive commercial farming. To mitigate the risk of serious disruptions to food production and distribution, the agriculture sector may require government support in the form of temporary fuel subsidies and, possibly, prioritised fuel access in order to cope with oil price shocks and potential fuel scarcity. Furthermore, to boost resilience and improve sustainability for the longer term, the agriculture sector should embark on a programme aimed at gradually reducing the reliance on petroleum products by adopting practices such as conservation agriculture and agro-ecological farming methods.

5204
Food Systems

Rethinking the science–policy interface in South Africa: Experiments in knowledge co-production

Prof. Mark Swilling

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

Published in: Swilling M. Rethinking the science–policy interface in South Africa: Experiments in knowledge co-production. S Afr J Sci. 2014;110(5/6)

This article contributes to the increasingly significant discussion about the science–policy interface. The challenge therein is that such a discussion tends to revolve around two seemingly mutually exclusive approaches: the reflexive approach inspired by Maarten Hajer’s work that deconstructs the discourses of participatory policymaking, and the more normative transdisciplinary approaches that legitimise researchers as active change agents.

5207
Sustainable Cities

Seed politics: An exploration of power narratives in the South African seed industry

Stefanie Swanepoel

Document type: MPhil Theses

Master's Thesis (2014): This study attempts to unravel the contradictory power relations shaping South Africa's seed system and to explore spaces of system intervention that could allow alternate seed systems to emerge.

5164
Food Systems

Speech by Alicia Barcena

Talk by Alicia Barcena to the IRP at its meeting in Santiago, 28 May 2014. She is head of Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

1710

Sustainability Institute's 15th Anniversary Celebration - Part 1

Eve Annecke

A photo essay celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Sustainability Institute and the founding of the Lynedoch EcoVillage in 2014.

1727
Education & Learning

Sustainability Institute's 15th Anniversary Celebration Part 2

Eve Annecke

A photo essay celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Sustainability Institute and the founding of the Lynedoch EcoVillage in 2014.
1728
Education & Learning

Sustainability Institute's 15th Anniversary Celebration Part 3

Eve Annecke

A photo essay celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Sustainability Institute and the founding of the Lynedoch EcoVillage in 2014.
1725
Education & Learning

Sustainability Institute's 15th Anniversary Celebration Part 4

Eve Annecke

A photo essay celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Sustainability Institute and the founding of the Lynedoch EcoVillage in 2014.
1726
Education & Learning

Sustainable development assignment

Rebecca Freeth

Document type: MPhil Assignments

This was an assignment for the Sustainable Development module submitted by Rebecca Freeth

3985

The design, implementation and assessing of an agroecological cropping system by rural KwaZulu-Natal households; its effect on their diet and food security

Brian Douglas Strachan

Document type: MPhil Theses

Master's Thesis (2014): This thesis documents a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project conducted from 2011 to 2013 in a rural communal area in southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The area is a microcosm of the global environmental and socio-economic polycrisis; with adult unemployment at 50 percent, 73 percent female-headed households, heavy dependence on government social grants and a food system reliant on purchased food. 

5159
Food Systems

Towards a sustainable incremental waste management system in Enkanini: A transdisciplinary case study

Vanessa von der Heyde

Document type: MPhil Theses

This study attempted to combine the issues of waste management, in particular of food waste, and incremental upgrading of informal settlements through a transdisciplinary case study that focuses on upgrading the food waste management system in Enkanini, an informal settlement in Stellenbosch, South Africa. A waste characterisation study undertaken by Stellenbosch Municipality showed that food waste makes up a substantial part of the waste stream generated in Enkanini. As informal settlements often lack adequate waste collection services, the food waste poses a health risk by breeding pathogens and attracting pests.

4005
Resource Efficiencies

Two Rivers Urban Park

SI Projects

Document type: Research & Project Outputs

Submission by Western Cape Provincial Government to the Internationale Architectuur Biennale Rotterdam 2014 (http://iabr.nl/) - the theme for this Biennale is Urban by Nature based on the urban metabolism approach. The submissions was not successful. 

1631
Development Planning

Urban Metabolism

Gwen Meyer

Document type: MPhil Assignments

Class assignment by Gwen Meyer for the 2014 Sustainable Cities module - addresses the question of urban metabolism from an innovation perspective, and applies this to the challenge of water use.

1951
Sustainable Cities

A study of rural women farmers' access to markets in Chirumanzu

Sheila Kapungu

Document type: MPhil Theses

Master's Thesis (March 2013). This thesis investigated the issues that rural smallholder women face in accessing markets in developing countries. This thesis gathered evidence from a group of smallholder women farmers in Chirumanzu, Zimbabwe, who are part of a market access project run by Oxfam, in order to highlight the issues that they face in accessing markets for their produce.

1902
Food Systems

An investigation into the effectiveness of corporate sustainability programmes and initiatives in the agricultural sector: The case of British American Tobacco Zimbabwe

Stanley Nyanyirai

Document type: MPhil Theses

Master's thesis (2013). The key and clear research objectives of this study are:- to ascertain if there is a link between British American Tobacco Zimbabwe (BATZ) top management philosophy, corporate strategy and the company`s corporate sustainability programmes, initiatives and other efforts, and the various stakeholders, and, if so, how these are communicated to them; to establish the degree of integrating sustainable development practice and initiatives into the BATZ business model in order to have long term benefits for both the company and its various stakeholders - these are an integral part of the socio-ecological system, and will help the business understand the resilience of the system and where in the system they should operate
5306
Food Systems