Limpopo Living Landscapes - Understanding the dynamics of ecological and cultural landscapes, in the face of global change, in the northern Limpopo region of South Africa

Within the agricultural landscapes of Limpopo Province, the Limpopo Living Landscapes project aims to understand and predict the combined effects of land use and climate change processes on (i) rangeland vegetation (ii) unique biodiversity and (iii) rural livelihoods and to identify farm and policy level intervention strategies that support sustainable rural livelihoods and the natural resource base on which these people depend.
The project will make detailed studies along two transects (Thohoyandou to Giyani and Turfloop to Phalaborwa) which provide a representative sample of climate, vegetation, soils, landuse and communities.
The methodologies will include socio-economic assessment of the current and future livelihood options for rural communities, on-farm/on-station experimentation and measurement in agricultural systems with a focus on understanding crop and rangeland productivity under highly variable climates and the use of remote sensing and predictive modelling tools to upscale and extrapolate. By working within communities along these transects, scenarios will be developed participatively that explore better land management options under current and future climate scenarios.
An important feature of this project is a strong collaboration between Universities in South Africa (Witwatersrand, Venda and Limpopo) and Germany (Göttingen, Frankfurt, Bonn and Cologne) and significant efforts to build capacity in the regions scientists.