A time for choice: stewardship of the Garden Route

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Public lecture delivered on 7 November to Garden Route stakeholders. The Garden Route is staring over a cliff and the choices we make now will determine our ability to respond to global uncertainties. Two factors: trends in the global economy, and government's commitment to implement the recommendations of the National Planning Commission, will make a huge difference to the Garden Route's future. Four scenarios: "Eish, missed the bus"; "Maverick's paradise"; "Local is Lekker" and "Carpe Diem" could emerge. Our ability to respond to these will depend on flexible yet proactive plannning, management of ecological infrastructure, closing the wealth gap and investing in education and technology.

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A time for choice: stewardship of the Garden Route

  1. 1. A time for choice:stewardship of the Garden Route Christo Fabricius
  2. 2. Uncertain timesComplex systems• Social, political, economic, technological, ecologicalUnpredictability• “wild cards”• “episodic events”• Shocks, surpriseNon-linear change• The past is not a good predictor of the future• Trends and extrapolation not very useful
  3. 3. “Regime shifts” A large, abrupt Lasting impacts onchange in the way a productivity system functions
  4. 4. Capacity / Lost ecosystem services Slow and fast factors Time Institutional capacity Ecosystem services
  5. 5. Making peace with uncertainty • Think short and long termConsidering • See the over-all picture • Question the future multiple • Consider implications of possible policy decisions futures • Experiment, monitor, learn
  6. 6. Asking the right questions • Political • Ecological • Economic Which factors are • Socialbeyond the Garden Route’s control? • Technological • Political • Ecological • EconomicWhich factors are • Socialimportant for our future? • Technological
  7. 7. Planning under uncertain conditions Uncontrollable factors Controllable factors • Fires • Ecological infrastructure Ecosystem • Floods • Biodiversity management • Droughts • Invasive alien plants • USA • Implementation Local Economic • Eurozone • Responsiveness Development • China • Debt vs investment Local • Policies • Capacity development • Vision 2030 policies, • Skills strategies and • Capacity • Education practices • Technology: Private sectorPopulation • Immigration investment • Green economy • Affordable infrastructure
  8. 8. Outside forcesShocks and surprisesVulnerabilityResiliencePeople’s choices
  9. 9. The future isn’t what it used to be.. • Anarchy • “New balls • Failed state please” • OR • Premier league • “second division” Global economic recovery Eish (we Carpe missed diem the bus) Maveric’s Local is paradise lekker • Hard times for all • Pockets of excellence • Innovation Ignored Implementation of Vision 2030 Prioritized
  10. 10. What to do?hedging our bets..
  11. 11. Ecosystem management• Repair ecological infrastructure • Coastal fore-dunes • Riverbanks • Wetlands • Indigenous forests• Manage threats NOW • Invasive plants • Land transformation• Partnerships; imaginative proposals; innovation funding
  12. 12. Local Economic Development Implementation of the PACA results Capacity development • Project management skills • Existing unproductive expenditure and commitments Carefully assess priorities • Be prepared to dump some projects • But pride and egos? The Garden Route as a • Many have spoken about it - heed the calls“knowledge and education • Align development priorities hub” in South Africa
  13. 13. Local policy reform Accountabilityof local politicalrepresentativesAssess impact of Reduce where possible and bureaucracy feasible Cooperation restore trust and and credibility ‘stewardship’ Close the Plans andwealth gap and incentivespromote unityAlign IDPs with Can existing economic Think outside budgets be the box with the development spent more IDP process priorities strategically?
  14. 14. Private sector investment Strategic • Barriers & bridges assessmentCapacity to form • Match-makers, facilitators partnerships • Project management skills Strategic • Innovators, regulators and alliances implementers
  15. 15. Conclusions• Choices: the Garden Route is staring over a cliff• We are probably the last generation who can pre-empt and manage a tipping point• Yes, we are accountable• Stewardship: holding ourselves accountable for the choices we make now

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