n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Decoupling and sustainable resource management : a South African perspective

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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There is an increasingly broad consensus in the scientific literature and in policy-making circles that the global economy as it is currently structured is unsustainable. Mainstream research on the implications of climate change and the degradation of eco-system services has tended to dominate discussion. However, there is a third strand of research which addresses the question of global material flows. This paper synthesizes this research on the global terrain and asks questions about the implications for policy-making in the South African context. In general, it is argued that macro-economic policy-making in South Africa has not taken into account research on the natural limits to current growth models. Nevertheless, there are a wide range of sectoral responses that do suggest that policy-makers are responding in ad hoc ways to the constraints imposed by natural resource limits. Suggestions are made for how these ad hoc responses could be consolidated into a more integrated and coherent response that could position South Africa as a lead player in the global search for sustainable solutions.

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