An Interdisciplinary Investigation into the Linkages between Transport, the Environment, Climate Change, Hydrology, Agriculture and Food Security in the rural Letaba District, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Abstract

This report chronicles an interdisciplinary investigation to determine the linkages between transportation, the environment, climate change, hydrology, agriculture and food security. The report starts with an overview of the study purpose and approach. This is followed by a detailed description of the Letaba district, a rural district in South Africa which forms the study area in this research. Specific attention is paid to the state of transportation in the area, as well as proposed economic developments. Next, the link between climate change and transportation is investigated, followed by a similar investigation into the linkages between transportation and the environment (including links to hydrology, agricultural potential and food security). A scenario based transport impact assessment is done for the study area. Based on the results from this assessment, certain generalised findings are concluded. The most notable finding is confirmation of the notion that, whilst proposed regional developments might be beneficial economically or socially, they could unwittingly trigger a number of negative environmental impacts. It is also found that an environmental impact assessment should not simply stop at the direct environmental impacts, but should consider the indirect and compound impacts of a proposed development as well. Disregard of indirect impacts can grossly underestimate the full impact of a proposed development. The study concludes that transportation, the environment, climate change and a region’s hydrology, its agricultural productivity and food security all form an interrelated system that needs to be balanced in order to achieve true sustainability.

Citation

Lane-Visser, T.; Vanderschuren, M.; De Clercq, W. An Interdisciplinary Investigation into the Linkages between Transport, the Environment, Climate Change, Hydrology, Agriculture and Food Security in the rural Letaba District, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Crown Agents, Surrey, UK (2014) x + 105 pp.

An Interdisciplinary Investigation into the Linkages between Transport, the Environment, Climate Change, Hydrology, Agriculture and Food Security in the rural Letaba District, Limpopo Province, South Africa

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