Decision-making for nature’s contributions to people in the Cape Floristic Region: the role of values, rules and knowledge

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Nature conservation on privately owned land depends on land managers’ decision-making. Interactions between values, rules and knowledge (vrk) underpin decision-making, thus, it is important to understand these interactions to support conservation intentions. We investigated how different sets of vrk determine the decision-making context regarding the management and conservation of renosterveld, a critically endangered ecosystem in the Cape Floristic Region, and how this relates to land managers’ perceptions of nature’s contributions to people (NCP). From interviews with thirty land managers, we identified nine value types, four rule types, three knowledge types and 13 different NCP. We found that different vrk combinations can be grouped into three decision-making contexts: Bottom-up conservation, Top-down conservation and Utility. Each context is associated with the perception of different beneficial and detrimental NCP. Regulating NCP are perceived across all contexts, whereas more non-material NCP are associated with a Bottom-up conservation context and relational values, such as family ties. The prevalence of relational values in Bottom-up and Top-down conservation contexts illustrates the complexity and non-substitutability of the dynamic relationships between renosterveld and people. This indicates the importance of plural valuation in nature conservation to foster diverse NCP provided by renosterveld.
ZeitschriftSustainability Science
Seiten (von - bis)739-760
Anzahl der Seiten22
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 05.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. This research was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG, LO 2323/1–1), awarded to JL.

Funding Information:
Our thanks go to Sarah Pendle, Katharina Talanow and Arnold van der Westhuizen for translation and transcription. We thank Annabelle Braasch for the design of icons. We are very grateful to all the land managers who participated in the study for their willingness and openness to support our research. The Robert-Bosch Foundation supports JL through a Junior Professorship for Research into Sustainable Use of Natural Resources. We also thank two anonymous reviewers who provided helpful comments and insights on previous versions of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaft - Ecosystem services, Local ecological knowledge, Private land conservation, Relational values, Renosterveld, South Africa
  • Ökosystemforschung - Ecosystem services, Local ecological knowledge, Private land conservation, Relational values, Renosterveld, South Africa

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