Our Work

The services we supply, across southern Africa, include but are not limited to:

  • Applied research in natural resources, environmental management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, agriculture, sustainable livelihoods and rural development
  • Strategic and operational support for sectoral and multi-disciplinary implementation programmes
  • Support of both public and private policy development
  • Specialist studies across the spectrum of socio-ecological systems
  • Environmental assessment and reporting at various scales
  • The development of natural resource and agriculturally focused institutional and governance systems
  • Land-use assessment and conservation planning
  • Customised education, capacity development and training in all aspects of our work
  • Developing and supporting the implementation of geographic, ecological and sectoral information management systems
  • Innovative stakeholder engagement and consultation
  • Monitoring of various environmental parameters.

Organisationally our work is arranged into a series of inter-linked thematic areas:

  • Adaptation and Resilience
  • Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods
  • Environmental Governance and Sustainability
  • Ecosystems

Themes are led by well-qualified and highly experienced professionals. In addition we are supported by a competent and experienced administrative team. We comprise a staff of 29 people and are located in a precinct of three historic homes surrounded by an indigenous garden adjacent to the campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We achieve Tier 2 status under the new BBBEE codes.

Adaptation and Resilience

This thematic area focuses predominantly on enhancing resilience and adaptation capacity of socio-ecological systems by the development of appropriate responses to the drivers of environmental change in order to mitigate vulnerability.

Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods

Rural households engage in a range of activities and rely on different sources of income to sustain their livelihoods. This thematic area aims to support sustainable rural development

Environmental Sustainability and Governance

Awareness of global environmental issues such as climate change, resource scarcity, species loss and habitat degradation has never been greater due to advances in technology that allow us to map, record and model change, and make the resulting information available to decision makers and broader society.


Intact ecosystems provide a range of ecosystem services from global change. Effective management of ecosystems is critical for ensuring the continued supply of these services and enhancing the resilience of both the environment and vulnerable communities.

The Institute of Natural Resources is a registered Non-profit Organisation (028-756-NPO) and Public Benefit Organisation (18/11/13/44/94).

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