Inaugural lecture: Professor Edwin Muchapondwa

30 September 2019 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues and students

I write to cordially invite you to the last Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture of 2019, which is to be presented by Professor Edwin Muchapondwa. The lecture is titled “Nature resolves economic problems for humans – must humans not reciprocate?”.

Professor Muchapondwa is a professor of economics at the University of Cape Town (UCT), the founding director of the Environmental Policy Research Unit and a former director of the School of Economics at UCT.

His research focuses on economic questions around the interaction between protected areas and adjacent communities. In his lecture, he notes that stakeholders who regulate economies prioritise people-centred objectives, such as poverty, inequality reduction and others. Nature conservation is not considered as being people-centred enough and, as a consequence, is not allocated equal priority and sufficient resources.

Professor Muchapondwa presents results from economic studies, including his own, demonstrating the economic arguments for nature conservation. He shares examples from different scientific methods, which range from bioeconomic models, impact evaluation, contingent behaviour models and choice experiments to framed field experiments. He concludes that whichever way you look at it – economic or otherwise – empirical evidence exhorts greater protection of nature as its integrity correlates with improvements in human welfare. He suggests strategies which may further enhance nature conservation.

Professor Muchapondwa is guest professor at the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden. He is a member of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) Expert Working Group on Natural Capital. The GGKP is a global network of experts and organisations dedicated to providing policy, business and finance communities with knowledge, guidance, data and tools to transition to an inclusive green economy.

He is a senior research fellow of the Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative, a global network of environmental economics research centres contributing to the effective management of the environment in the global south through capacity development, applied research and policy interaction in 15 countries. He is a member of the EfD board, chair of the EfD quality assurance panel, and director of EfD International – EfD’s fundraising non-profit organisation in the United States.

He is also the South African representative at the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, secretary general of the African Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and vice president of the Economic Society of South Africa. He has been a consultant to the United Nations Environment Programme and the African Development Bank. Professor Muchapondwa has previously taught in Kenya and Zimbabwe and has served as an external examiner for universities in Australia, the Czech Republic, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

His research has been published in international journals such as Ecological Economics, Environment and Development Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, The Journal of Development Studies and Natural Resource Modeling. His current research deals with biodiversity conservation, community-based natural resource management, and energy and climate change.

Please join us as we conclude the Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture series for 2019.

When: Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Where: Lecture Theatre 2, Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus, UCT

Time: 17:30 (doors open at 17:00)

RSVP: Please confirm your attendance online by 6 October 2019.

For further information, please email or phone 021 650 4847.

Please note: Due to limited space, seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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