Prof. James Nelson Blignaut

Title: Chief Economist

Institution: Global Water Partnership Southern Africa & Africa Coordination Unit

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Accomplished international economics Professor at the University of Pretoria and former editor-in-chief of the Thompson ISI accredited South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Professor James Nelson Blignaut is GWP-SA’s the Regional Technical Committee (RETC) chairperson and Chief Economist. He uses his ecological and environmental resource economics expertise to provide intellectual leadership and economics related inputs to the GWPSA regional programme on Water Infrastructure, Job Creation and SDG Investments. A former South African Reserve Bank employee Prof. Blignaut has served or is serving as an advisor or panel member to the Limpopo and KwaZulu- Natal governments, Statistics South Africa, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Department of Water Affairs, the Department of Energy, the National Treasury, and the Working for Water and Global Invasive Species Programmes, to name a few.

Prof has published extensively on matters related to water, energy, food production and agriculture ecosystem services, restoration, policy development and policy recommendations with respect to water, land and resource use and related topics. With more than 100 papers published in local and international accredited journals, and more than 100 papers presented at local and international conferences as well as seminars James was the lead editor of a 2004-book, Sustainable Options: Development lessons from applied environmental economics in South Africa and has authored and co-authored more than 30 chapters in books. In addition to that, he participates in various nationally and internationally funded research colloquiums and is a reviewer to a range of local and international journals. He is external examiner to a range of local tertiary and research institutions, among them the Council for Scientific Industrial Research, National Research Foundation, South Africa/Netherlands Research Partnership (SANPAD) and the Water Research Commission.