Climate Change and Greening South Africa's Economy

  • To Strengthen the Enabling Environment for the Adoption of Knowledge-Based SLM Models for Land Management and Land/Eecosystem Rehabilitation in Support of the Green Economy and Resilient Livelihoods Through Capacity Building, Improved Governance and Financial Incentives Demonstrated in the Karoo, Eastern Cape and Olifants Landscapes

  • South Africa has made tremendous strides towards establishing a well-managed national system of Protected Areas (PAs). However, the PA estate covers only 6 % of the national territory, and presently is not representative of the full range of major habitat types that demand protection. The country’s status as a mega diversity area, characterized by a high turnover of biodiversity across ecological landscapes, amplifies the inherent challenges in establishing and strengthening a representative PA estate

  • South Africa’s historically low cost of electricity (which tacitly promoted inefficient use by consumers and underinvestment) coupled with increased electricity demand brought on by rapid economic development and the electrification of previously disadvantaged communities came to a head with widespread rolling electricity blackouts in 2008.

  • South Africa’s draft Second National Communication (SNC, 2010) predicts the following general climate change trends for South Africa: (i) Assuming a moderate to high growth in greenhouse gas concentrations, by 2050 the coast is likely to warm by around 1-2ºC and the interior by around 2-3ºC. After 2050, under emissions scenarios that assume little mitigation effort, the rate of warming is projected to reach around 3-4ºC along the coast and 6-7ºC in the interior; and (ii) Rainfall projections for the summer rainfall region of the country show a tendency towards wetting, and for the winter rainfall region towards drying.

  • The project seeks to expand representation of globally important terrestrial habitats by establishing new PAs covering 197,000 ha. The current Protected Area estate does not effectively represent the full range of globally important species and habitats in the three biodiversity hotspots in South Africa (Succulent Karoo, Cape Floral Kingdom and Maputaland Pondoland Albany Hotspot); and as a result, key critical biodiversity areas within these remain under protected and are at risk of loss or degradation of habitat from several factors.

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