The Sustainability Research Unit (SRU) develops the capacity for the sustainable management of ecological, social and economic systems through user-inspired research, training and policy contributions.
The work of the SRU is based on five principles:
It takes a long-term approach, inspired by the principles and practices of resilience management;
The users (decision-makers and resource users) must inspire the work;
Resources (funds and expertise) must be pooled;
Approaches must be inter-disciplinary, with a strong “evidence-seeking” focus necessitated by the complex nature of the challenges being addressed and the high levels of uncertainty and prevalence of guesswork;
Its impact must build the capacity of government, municipal and civil society decision-makers through data collection, awareness creation, learning, training and implementation.
The Unit is bringing together decision-makers and researchers from various institutions such as Universities, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), SANParks, Eden District Municipality, local municipalities and the private sector to address challenges collaboratively, thereby adding value to existing expertise and financial resources.