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Boundaries are Boundless – Biodiversity in Thorndale, Rural South Africa

Benjamin D. Dovie


Geographic focus: South Africa / village of Thorndale and surrounding woodlands

Date completed: 2002

It is becoming increasingly important to embark on projects that capture how people change their resource use with considerations that livelihoods are dynamic and subsequent impact on biodiversity. Benjamin Dovie, from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, analyzed aerial photographs of the region surrounding the village of Thorndale to study transformation of the landscape over time. He found that the proportion of mixed woodland declined over the years with accompanied increases in parkland, cropland and shrub land. He proposed that categories for land use be defined according to needs and livelihood and advocated setting specific local utilization thresholds to help preserve biodiversity in specific biomes. 

Topics / keywords: Rural Development; Land Use; Natural Resources

Presentation (pdf - 0.5MB)