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Climate Change in Southern Africa


Climate Change in Southern Africa selected impacts, responses and the road to Copenhagen Dr Emma Archer ( & Dr Mark Tadross ( – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Climate Change in Southern Africa

Climate Change in Southern Africa selected
impacts, responses and the road to Copenhagen
Dr Emma Archer ( Dr Mark
Tadross (
  • Comments - climate change explained and observed
  • Then look at the projections for Southern Africa
  • Thinking around adaptation and response
  • The road to Copenhagen, and strategies in South
    Africa and SADC Nairobi Declaration (May-June
  • Chris climate change implications for the water
    sector (example of vulnerable sector others
    include health, human settlements, disaster
    management, biodiversity ecosystem services,
    agriculture, marine and coastal)

The greenhouse effect
  • Greenhouse gases act like panes of glass in a
  • Allow short wave energy to pass through them
  • Trap longer-wave heat radiation that is radiated
    back to the atmosphere from the earths surface
    (changes to atmosphere radiative forcing)

So far collective picture of a warming world
  • Global average surface temperature has increased
    over 20th century by about 0.6 C
  • Climate change already occurring e.g. temp
    raises in parts of SADC
  • What of the future?

Southern Africa predictions - temperature
  • All of Africa is likely to warm during this
    century (IPCC WG1, 2007, Ch 11, pg 866)
  • Warming likely gt global annual mean warming
    throughout the continent and in all seasons
  • Drier subtropical regions warming more than
    moister tropics

Significant hydrological changes
IPCC AR4 WG1, Christensen et al
Based on regional studies assessed in IPCC
Chapter 11 Precip increase in gt 90 of
simulations Precip increase in gt 66
simulations Precip decrease in gt 66 of
simulations Precip decrease in gt 90 of
simulations Precip decrease likely Precip
increase likely
Sectors vulnerable to climate risk ?
Priorities in impacts adaptation
  • The flaws of a sectoral approach multi-sector
    strategies (e.g. intra-departmental coordination
    on water-health-livelihoods link in both
    causation and adaptation strategies)
  • Acknowledging the challenge of complex
    emergencies/multiple stressors (e.g. cholera
    outbreak summer 2008/9)
  • Win-win strategies (e.g. corridor and landscape
    planning as an adaptation strategy)
  • Link to overall thinking on policy on climate
    change and environment in Africa multiple
    synergies and the MEAs (more shortly)
  • Understanding thresholds and progressive
    exceedances (households, institutions, management
    systems, ecosystems)
  • Root adaptation in what is currently done to cope
    with climate variability (from the communal
    farmer to the mining house)

How South Africa SADC are tackling climate
  • Beyond communication dissemination of climate
    risk science to real sectoral multi-sectoral
  • Second National Communication on Climate Change
    (led by SANBI
  • Global Change Grand Challenge including Global
    Change Bureau, ACCESS, COE on Sustainability and
    Global Change, SAEON, Risk Vulnerability Atlas
  • Adaptation and other climate change units at Dept
    Water Environment
  • Units at Dept Water Environment key focus on
    concrete strategies across departments, including
    water, health, disaster management, agriculture
    (planning commission in Office of the Presidency)
  • Work in SADC coupling climate change capacity
    building to existing SADC early warning and
    disaster management processes

Towards Copenhagen COP15
  • Hopes in international climate negotiation that a
    new, international climate change agreement for
    the post-2012 period will be agreed in Copenhagen
    in 2009.
  • Again, we are already committed to a certain
    amount of change, even with great progress in

Nairobi Declaration on African Process for
Combating Climate Change (May-June 2009)
  • Common African negotiating position on a
    comprehensive international Climate Change regime
    beyond 2012
  • ensure that African common position basis
    for negotiations by African group during
    negotiations for post2012 regime takes into
    account Africa priorities (SD,poverty reduction
    and MDGs attainment)
  • Develop a comprehensive framework of African
    Climate Change Programmes (coordination
    coherence in implem and review of climate change
    initiatives SD plans in Africa _at_ all levels
    common approach to engaging international
  • Support Africa to increase economic
    competitiveness - low carbon development
  • Urge dev countries to set ambitious emissions
    reductions targets (2020 - _at_ least 40 below 1990
    levels 2050 80 95 below 1990 levels)
  • Common approach to engaging with the
    international community in developing solutions
    to tackle the challenges posed by climate change
  • Agreement on the modalities for submitting the
    outcomes of the Special Session to the African
    Union at its summit to be held in July 2009

Africa priorities for increased support under
future climate regime
  • Adaptation
  • Capacity building
  • Research
  • Financing (improved geographical distribution of
    CDM projects expansion of eligible categories to
    benefit from carbon credits other post-2012
    incentives to incl sustainable land use possible
    fund establishment to reduce emissions through
    sustainable land-management practices incl
    forest conservation, sustainable forest
    management, avoidance of deforestation,
    afforestation and sustainable agriculture)
  • Technology devt transfer (just mentioned)
  • Incl support for South-South transfer of
  • Including indigenous knowledge systems

Annex IV Conceptual framework for African
climate change programmes UNEP/AMCEN/12/9
Sobering realities on the way forward to conclude
  • Joanne Yawitch (Water Environment DDG)
    comment on UNFCCC negotations in Bonn
  • confident will come out of Copenhagen with an
    architecture of what the Climate Change regime
    will look like (although picture post G8 not
  • very confident that one will get a second Kyoto
    commitment period, with new numbers
  • less optimistic that the financial framework
    for developing-country support would be finalized

Christy van der Merwe, Engineering News, June
11th 2009