Earlier this week, Environmental Affairs Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, published the Draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for public comment in the Government Gazette 42466(PDF).
According to SA News, the Gazette has opened the channel for members of the public to submit their comments to the Director-General of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), which has been developed in line with South Africa’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“The development of the strategy is central toward the attainment of the National Climate Change response policy objective of effectively managing the inevitable climate change impacts through interventions that build and sustain South Africa’s social, economic, and environmental resilience and emergency response capacity,” explained DEA spokesperson, Albi Modise.
SA News adds that the strategy will introduce measures to adapt to the effects of climate change, while achieving the stabilisation of greenhouse gas emissions and limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees celsius.
Furthermore the DEA said that there is evidence that extreme weather events in South Africa are increasing, with heat wave conditions found to be more likely, dry spell durations lengthening slightly and rainfall intensity increasing.
“Climate zones across the country are already shifting, ecosystems and landscapes are being degraded, veld fires are becoming more frequent, and overused natural terrestrial and marine systems are under stress,” added Modise.
DEA added that the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) will provide a common vision of climate change adaptation and climate resilience for the country and will outline priority areas for achieving this version
The NCCAS objectives are as follows:
- Act as a common reference point for climate change adaptation efforts in South Africa in the short to medium term, providing guidance across all levels of government, sectors and stakeholders affected by climate variability and change.
- Provides a policy instrument which national climate change adaptation objectives for the country can be articulated to provide overarching guidance to all sectors of the economy.
- Facilitate the degree to which development initiatives at different levels of government and business integrate and reflect critical climate change adaptation priorities, and thus inform resource allocation by the various stakeholders towards climate change resilience.
- Supports South Africa in meeting its international obligations by defending the country’s vulnerable, plans to reduce vulnerabilities and leverage opportunities, outlining the required resources for such action, whilst demonstrating progress on climate change adaptation.
- Guides stronger coherence and coordination on climate change adaptation activities between different institutions and levels of government.
“Adaptation to the climate change presents South Africa with an opportunity to transform the economy, strengthen the social and spatial fabric, and become and build a climate resilient society,” concluded Modise.
Comments and input can delivered the following ways:
Post – The Director-General at the Department of Environmental Affairs,
Mr Sibonelo Mbanjwa
Private Bag X447
Hand – Environmental House, 473 Steve Biko Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0083.
E-mail – [email protected]