Ecosystem services refer to the direct and indirect benefits to humanity from an ecosystem. The ability to spatially incorporate multiple biophysical environments is crucial to ecosystem services, thus promoting cooperation between science and policy in seeking solutions to global challenges, including drought disasters. Therefore, understanding ecosystem services, for instance, from forest/vegetation in view of contributing to drought disaster risk adaptation is critical to human-nature interactions and proper sustainable conservation thereof. No known study has been done on ecosystem services and their contributions to drought management or other climate adaptation in South Africa. This study aimed at quantifying drought disaster risk adaptation based on ecosystem services in South Africa. It was identified that ecosystem services to society have been directly affected by anthropogenic and natural phenomena, thereby influencing drought severity and its impacts. These impacts and their associated risks are evident globally, including in South Africa. We found out that ecosystems in South Africa have been affected and extremely vulnerable to recurrent natural disasters, such as droughts. To achieve long-term solutions to such drought-related risks and challenges, feedback mechanisms between human-natural and related factors and ecosystem services-based drought adaptation need to be understood and planned. Timely spatiotemporal assessment, planning and management strategies need to be considered to find solutions or ways forward to South Africa in combating drought disasters.
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