This paper analyses the vulnerability of South African agriculture to climate change and variability by developing a vulnerability index and comparing vulnerability indicators across the nine provinces of the country. Nineteen environmental and socio-economic indicators are identified to reflect the three components of vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity.
We describe the nature of recent (50 year) rainfall variability in the summer rainfall zone, South Africa, and how variability is recognised and responded to on the ground by farmers. Using daily rainfall data and self-organising mapping (SOM) we identify 12 internally homogeneous rainfall regions displaying differing parameters of precipitation change.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea are common world wide, including in Bizana, South Africa where the majority of rural dwellers depend largely on water from unprotected sources. The people from Bizana use medicinal plants as their first line of health care to cure and prevent diarrhoea.
Aims of the study: Commercially important indigenous medicinal plants of southern Africa are reviewed in the context of fundamental knowledge about their ethnobotany, phylogeny, genetics, taxonomy, biochemistry, chemical variation, reproductive biology and horticulture.
South Africa is a country with both rich floral biodiversity and cultural diversity. Traditional herbal medicines form an important part of the healthcare of most South Africans, and relies heavily on the use of indigenous plants.
In recent years Venda has suffered considerable environmental pressure as a result of overpopulation and agricultural and industrial expansion, which has led to indiscriminate destruction of vegetation and natural habitats.
Rapid Rural Appraisal methods were used to collate and code the indigenous knowledge on animal healthcare of Tsonga speaking people of South Africa. There was a rapport between local disease names as described by their clinical signs by the farmers and the local veterinary services important disease list.
An ethnobotanical survey of plants used for the treatment of cancer was carried out in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Information on the names of plants, parts used and methods of preparation was collected through a questionnaire which was administered to herbalists, traditional healers and rural dwellers.