Can social-ecological systems inhibit invasive species control? A study of acacia mearnsii control in the Golden Gate Highlands National park of South Africa
- Ecosystems Services, Grassland Biome, Invasive Alien Species, Poverty, Social-Ecological Systems, South Africa
How to Cite
Considered to be an important source of water, energy and biological diversity, mountains are a critical component of livelihoods because of the ecosystem goods and services they provide to montane communities. In South Africa, mountain ecosystems are under threat from invasion by alien species, posing considerable pressure on wildlife, native plant species and local habitats. This paper assesses the socio-economic and cultural context of the control of Acacia mearnsii invasion in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, a mountain based protected area in South Africa. The paper draws from a questionnaire survey and interviews that were conducted in communities adjacent to the park to ascertain why these communities were reluctant to cooperate in government funded control programs, despite evidenceshowing that the communities are a springboard for bio-invasion in the park. The results indicate that social-ecological systems are the root of resistance against of Acacia mearnsii control.