The main research objectives for the programme are:

  1. Through this work to build social theory that is rooted in an appreciation of the urgency of the socio-economic and environmental challenges facing the Karoo and South Africa as a whole, as well as the importance of inter-disciplinary work across the social and natural sciences
  2. To probe social meanings around land, place, nature, development and identity in selected sites affected by these and other locally significant interventions
  3. To explore the socio-ecological dynamics within which commitments to sustainability, development and social justice in the Karoo region must operate

4. To examine the SKA and shale-gas mining as prominent examples of globally networked development interventions with very different implications for relationships to land and the understanding and practice of sustainable development

5. Through this work to contribute to national policy development on land, environment and development and to support community development initiatives in selected sites.