Ecological Infrastructure

What is Ecological Infrastructure?

Ecological infrastructure refers to functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people, such as fresh water, climate regulation, soil formation and disaster risk reduction. It is the nature based equivalent of built or hard infrastructure, and is just as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development.

Ecological infrastructure includes, for instance, healthy mountain catchments, rivers, wetlands, coastal dunes, and nodes and corridors of natural habitat, which together form a network of interconnected structural elements in the landscape.

For more information on ecological infrastructure and its associated benefits, please refer to the fact sheet.

The Dialogue on Ecological Infrastructure 

In November 2012, a Dialogue on Ecological Infrastructure was held. The dialogue provided a platform for information-sharing and discussion between delegates and speakers. During the discussion, Mandy Driver, director at SANBI explained how securing optimal development futures in South Africa’s landscapes requires spatial biodiversity planning and land use management to ensure the continued delivery of ecosystem services and benefits. South Africa has excellent spatial information on biodiversity priority areas and the tools and capacity to make use of cutting edge technology for planning. Information sharing systems and processes are in place to make this available to professionals and policy-makers in the biodiversity sector. This has laid an essential foundation for achieving optimal development futures; all that remains is for it to be taken to scale across the greater South African development landscape.

For more information on the proceedings, please visit the Grasslands Programme website.