Namakwa District Municipality, CSA and Leading Scientists Discuss Future Succulent Karoo Climate Change Scenarios
The Namakwa District Municipality (NDM), and Conservation South Africa (CSA) jointly hosted a Partners Conference themed Adapting to Climate Change in Namakwa District Municipality in Springbok on the 13th and 14th of March 2012.
This conference was the first ever of its kind in Namaqualand, attended by 48 delegates from various conservation agencies, research
institutions, community representatives, and officials from the local, district, and provincial departments of the Northern Cape government.
The conference focused on the interfaces between ecosystems-based adaptation; the expected impacts of climate change; outcomes of socio-economic vulnerability assessments in the NDM; biodiversity stewardship adaptation; governance and partnerships for natural resource management; the Northern Cape climate change response strategy and feedback from COP17.
The get-together was set in motion by an opening address from Richtersveld Ward Councillor Willie Links, followed by a welcoming address delivered from the Senior Manager for Economic Development at NDM, Chris Fortuin “We can only overcome the challenges we face as Namakwa District Municipality by working in partnership.” said Fortuin. “We need the research and recommendations to achieve our vision.”
This conference allowed delegates to learn about and plan for adapting to climate change in the Namakwa District, and formed part of Conservation International’s (CI)’s three-country Ecosystems-based Adaptation (EbA) study, which is currently being implemented in South Africa, Brazil, and the Philippines.
Professor Guy Midgley, South Africa’s lead negotiator to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP17 spoke about the latest in climate science for Southern Africa, and made the links to climate projections for the Namakwa District relevant and clear to all present.
South African National Parks (SANParks) conservation planner and researcher at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Dr Stephen Holness presented a series of maps and models around biome stability and EbA priority areas for the Namakwa District.
Socio-economic vulnerabilities and the ways in which CSA and partners are addressing these issues on the ground by adopting EbA approaches were discussed in consequent sessions. Several speakers provided insight into climate change policy and governance at a variety of levels.
Two workshop sessions focused on roles and responsibilities, budget allocations, opportunities, challenges, and priority areas and actions for effective climate change response in the Namakwa District. The conference was extremely timely to feed into local government disaster risk reduction and local economic development planning and was very well received.
A report on the CSA and Namakwa District Municipality is available on the SKEP website under the ‘Resources’ section.