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Table of Contents:
FACTS, THREATS AND SOLUTIONS
This document was conceived and compiled by a diverse group of people in academia, conservation stewardship, LandCare and agriculture.
It’s aim is to inform the facts, as they are presently known, about climate change and global warming as well as to offer some solutions to
counter the effects.
We believe that land-owners and conservationists will find it extremely difficult to continue “doing what they do” without understanding that
the playing fields have changed and will continue to change as the effects of climate change become more entrenched. In order to survive
and continue to prosper will require a quantum shift in behaviour and thinking. We hope this document will supply some steps in that
We are we targeting the following sectors:
- Landowners from different agricultural sectors
- Landowners working in conservation
- Conservation bodies working with landowners
- Policy makers
- Our National and Provincial Governments are very aware of the threats from climate change and this year has had several seminars and workshops around the subject.
In her keynote address at last month’s climate change seminar at Kirstenbosch, Minister Tasneem Essop highlighted the links between sustainable development, spatial development and provincial adaptation and mitigation response to climate change. Ms Shirley Moroka from the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEAT) outlined the National Climate Change Response Strategy and indicated that a range of government departments were responsible for policy change and awareness raising about climate change, including Minerals and Energy, Water Affairs and Forestry, Agriculture, Transport, Education, Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, and Housing.
We note below several concerns raised by the ministers and delegates:
- The challenges that climate change poses for residential consumption behaviour, and the relationship between consumption and socio-economic inequality.
- Emphasised the need to understand the nuances of likely changes in the Western Cape's climate, the importance of learning from recent crises – such as the drought – and demonstrated consensus on the need for climate change education at all levels.
- De-contextualising climate change from development demands. Without an adaptation strategy, climate change could hold development and poverty alleviation back. Poverty and inequality could be exacerbated by efforts to reduce consumption of natural resources
- lack of awareness about climate change and its impacts, from leaders down
- maintaining international competitiveness of the agricultural industry
- Water and energy emerged as critical areas of concern.
- The impact of climate change on sectors that create employment and sustainable livelihoods, such as agriculture, fishing and tourism, and to the challenges posed to infrastructure, especially housing and transport.
- The impact on human health, marine systems and biodiversity
- Physical vulnerabilities to climate change: health (e.g. water-borne diseases and malaria), water supply, agriculture, forestry and biodiversity.
- Economic vulnerabilities to climate change: developing economy, fossil fuel base to economy, coal exports may fall, possible trade restrictions associated with energy intensive goods, financial constraints to obtain better technology
- recognise that South Africa's emissions will continue to increase as development is realised.
It was agreed that political leaders and the people of the Western Cape need to make a paradigm shift to long-term planning and integration.