You are here:
Download this page in
Table of Contents:
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MITIGATE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
General Principles of Natural Resource Management Best Practise:
- Acknowledge the threat of climate change both human-induced (industrial agriculture) and natural, adjusting management plans accordingly
- Look and Learn - Be open-minded, proactive and adaptable
- Participate in collaborative management across the landscape through existing structures such as farmer organisations, conservancies, LandCare forums, Water Forums and Fire Protection Agencies.
- Lobby with these organisations for education and assistance if this is not forthcoming.
- Demand the appropriate quality products and services
- Save energy and explore renewable energy sources
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
- Know your rights and obligations for e.g. right to healthy environment, duty of care for environment
- Encourage effective partnerships between stakeholders
- Inform and educate yourself and pass this on to others.
- Use appropriate wind break species e.g. indigenous trees and restios
THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW!
LOOK AFTER YOUR SOIL
- Maintain as much soil cover as possible (Cover crops, Mulch)
- Manage veld and riparian areas
- Introduce and maintain diversity of plant life and habitats that will maintain diversity of all other life.
- Manage, reduce and rehabilitate erosion. (re-plant, use gabions and swales)
- Increase soil life and organic matter
- Reduce tillage to an absolute minimum
- Minimise the use of chemical fertilisers with the aim of nil usage.
- Replace chemical fertilisers with compost, cover and sacrificial crops, humus, worms, microbial life, natural mined minerals.
LOOK AFTER YOUR WATER
- Store surplus water (earth dams, rain tanks on all buildings)
- Re-direct water runoff (swales, canals, ponds)
- Avoid water run-off (cover-plants, mulching)
- Recycle (grey water from houses, factories, etc)
- Investigate desalination (Use internet to look at desalination experiences of Australia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Namibia)
- Reduce/avoid evaporation (Cover water storage areas where possible).
- Bury all water pipes to reduce evaporation, leaks, and sun damage.
LOOK AFTER YOUR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
- Remove invasive alien plants & other organisms and restore natural habitat
- Establish shelter belts, maintain & protect wildlife & natural areas
- Use good agricultural practices that include crop rotation and reduction of the use of harmful chemicals
- Greening using indigenous species to create beneficial microclimates
- Wise use of biodiversity e.g. sustainable harvesting
- More efficient use of energy and fuel switching to more sustainable fuels
- Replace old diesel engines, the cause of major pollution
- change to renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, micro-hydro)
PRACTISE EFFICIENT IRRIGATION and WATER USEAGE
- Anticipate reduced quantity of water available for irrigation
- Manage irrigation by scheduling according to plant demand.
- Use soil moisture probes and irrigate according to need.
- Maintain irrigation systems (remove from dead plants, fix leaks)
- Design an optimal system (use drip irrigation where possible)
- Deep mulch and irrigate less.
- Planning for change – site, crop and cultivar selection, row direction
- Changing the micro-climate - e.g. Shade-netting, evaporative cooling, reflective particle film
LOOK AFTER CATCHMENT AREAS & RIVERS
- Maintain biodiversity and soil cover
- Appropriate fire management
- Erosion control and restoration
- Wetland and riparian zone conservation & restoration
- Control invasive alien plant & organisms
ACTIVELY EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTION METHODS AND LANDUSE
- Climate change,organic and biological farming, awareness workshops and farmer mentoring
- Sustainable harvesting of wild rooibos, medicinal plants, fuelwood and restios as thatching material
ADVANTAGES OF MITIGATION TO YOU AS LANDOWNER
- Improved quality of life
- Avoid crop and bio-diversity loss
- Avoid reduction in value of property, and instead increase value
- Increased productivity
- Reduction of input costs
- More crop per drop
- Higher quality product
- More competitive
- Possibility of carbon funding to support sustainable development
- Forewarned is forearmed - by acting now you make use of short window of opportunity to become sustainable
- Less susceptible to extreme events (droughts) & other risks
- Be part of target group that receive priority service from service providers from various tiers of government
- Resultant stable environment provides opportunity to capitalise on other sources of income linked to biodiversity
- Act pro-actively before legislation becomes prescriptive. SA has obligations to international climate change mitigation frameworks
Resource List & References
Beginners Guide to UNFCCC
South Africa National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (See Adaptative Strategy for Biodiversity)
Western Cape Provincial Climate Change Policy & Strategy
Bewaringsboerdery handleiding – Dept Agriculture – Copies of CD
Andre Roux, Department of Agriculture - firstname.lastname@example.org
Charl van Rooyen, Department of Agriculture - Good Agricultural Practices - Charl Van Rooyen
Recommended further reading: www.ihdp.org
(International Human Dimensions Programme)
CapeNature’s Fact Sheet: A landowners guide to MANAGING BIODIVERSITY IN AN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE