Sustainable development is not easy. In many regions, including the grasslands of South Africa, physical processes such as soil erosion, alien invasive species, and inappropriate fire management threaten natural resources and human livelihoods. The interactions among such processes, especially in the context of climate change and societal developments, are hard to understand and can only be considered together, as one land system.
The dynamics of land systems (past, present, future), as well as the vulnerability to change, are determined by a set of biophysical, socio-economic, and governance drivers. The manner in which these drivers affect the components of the system accordingly determine the appearance of the landscape and its potential use. To comprehend these complex dynamics a multi/interdisciplinary approach is required where the system and all the driving components are regarded as a whole.
This course addresses the interdisciplinary and multi-scale analysis of the dynamics of land systems, covering the geological, ecological, land use, societal and governance perspectives over different scales of time and space. The main goal of the course is to investigate past and current dynamics of the region and predict possible futures in an inter- / trans-disciplinary context.