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Adaptation experiences in
South Africa
Ms Lwandle Mqadi
The SouthSouthNorth Group:
Southern Africa Office
South Africa
Economic Overview
• South Africa has the most sophisticated free-market economy
on the African continent.
• The country represents only 3% of the continent's surface
area, yet it accounts for approximately 40% of all industrial
output, 25% of gross domestic product (GDP), over half of
generated electricity and 45% of mineral production in Africa.
• Due to its history, South Africa has one of the most unequal
societies in the world with a sophisticated industrial economy
that has developed alongside an underdeveloped "informal"
• This dual economy presents a “development challenge” for
South Africa.
National and Local
Development Strategies
• Reconstruction and Development Plan
• Anti-poverty Programme
– Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Strategy
e.g. Land reform and food security)
– Urban Renewal Programme (e.g. Infrastructure
development and service delivery)
• Integrated Development Plan (local municipal
level) which has integrated the ISRDP and the
– All environmental policies (NEMA, Water Act, Air
quality, Disaster Management Act etc.) are all
implemented in this context.
National Climate
Change Responses
In response to the climate change predictions:
• the 1st National Communications has been submitted to the
UNFCCC and preparations for the 2nd are underway;
• There is also intensive climate change research which is mainly
aimed at improving climate forecasts and predicting impacts
within the ff sectors: water, agriculture, biodiversity and health
• The key vulnerability sectors outlined in the National
Communications have been expanded by the National Climate
Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) launched in 2004. This
strategy has provided a comprehensive framework for dealing
with climate change issues in South Africa.
– Within this strategy, principles outlined to guide South Africa’s response
to climate change include consistency with national priorities and
strategies on sustainable development.
Current Policy
• Department of Agriculture: Currently
developing a climate change response
• Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is
developing a climate change response
• Some local authorities are developing
climate change adaptation plans and
strategies as part of the Integrated
Development Plans at local levels
Learnings at policy
• Key national and local developmental programmes
have focused mostly on the provision of infrastructure
for basic services in both rural and urban areas of
South Africa.
• The integration of climate change, as part of service
delivery using the current developmental strategies is
• Bottom up solutions and opportunities for the
integration of climate change risk management at the
household level still need to be prioritised.
Current Practices
at local levels
• SSN is currently developing a methodology
for identifying community based adaptation
to climate change project activities,
• Community based projects in the water
sector (both urban and rural) and
agricultural sector have been identified
and underdevelopment phase.
SSN Practices at local
Main aims of the SSN programme
• To develop and apply a generic methodology for identifying, designing
and implementing Community Based Adaptation (CBA) Projects;
• Establish partnerships with various stakeholders who include:
– non-governmental organizations and community based organizations;
– Research institutions (focus on climate change science) willing to
communicate their work and learn with other stakeholders involved;
– Local authorities;
– Other specialists
Develop robust methodologies to evaluate and monitor overall project
development processes
Driving key concepts for
Community based adaptation
Climate Change
Vulnerability and Climate Change
Adaptation to Climate Change
Adaptive Capacity and Sustainable livelihoods
Poverty and Poverty Alleviation (Development
• Sustainable Community Based Projects
Poverty and Climate
change: Top down
• Step I: Mapping the Climate Change Vulnerable Region/Area and
– IPCC Third Assessment Report
– Regional Level Impact Assessment Report
– Country Level Impact, vulnerability and adaptation Assessment Report
Experience: Information Available-interpretation& applicability of this info
• Step II: Mapping Poverty at national, sub-national, socio-economic
and occupational group (existing country level data set, census etc.)
Experience: Information available-lack of strong linkages between poverty
issues and environmental …..
• Step III: Overlaying Climate Change and Poverty (locate poverty hotspot in relation with CC)
Poverty and climate
change: Top down
• Step V: Select Potential Project Partners: subjective
• Step VI: Reconnaissance survey and information gathering
– Who is doing what: Institutional mapping?
– Who knows what?
– What information is available?
– Conceptualization of possible CBA Projects through Project
Identification notes (PINs) to outline potential project activities: the
wish list……
• Step VII: Analysis of Data and Information Gathered
– Verification of the institutional mapping
– Verification of proposed PINs with existing institutions within the
Poverty and Climate
Change: The Bottom
• Step viii: Project Design (lengthy process)
– Formation of Project design Team
– Vulnerability assessment exercise in the context sustainable
livelihood framework analysis:
• Understand local perceptions of vulnerability
• Range of key vulnerabilities facing the target community
• Range of climate related vulnerabilities (i.e. climate change
science/extreme weather/climate variability)
• Identify existing coping & adaptation strategies
• What adaptive capacity is needed by who, with what and when?
• Reconcile short-term needs with long-term goals
• Role of various “institutions”: analyse
= Prioritize key potential project activities/interventions based on
Steps vi-viii
• Step ix: Formulation of project design document for fundraising
purposes-targeting dedicated adaptation funding
Learnings so far
• A need to define an adaptation to climate change project?
Additionality (Is it about financial feasibility/incremental
costs, what are they?
• A need for the interpretation of climate change science at
local levels: creation of symbiotic relationships
• A need to understand institutional arrangements and
processes at local levels
• A need for practitioners to assess- how to integrate
adaptation to climate change issues into urban issues:
focus on integrated demand management
• A need to identify and design projects in line with current
SD policy developments
• A need to allow and capacitate development agencies at
local levels to drive adaptation to climate change
Thank you
[email protected]