South Africa: Adaptation


South Africa is looking into a few adaptation initiatives, but most  are under debate, and few are being implemented or most importantly, funded. South Africa is aware of their vulnerability, and that they will face severe problems when climate change begins to take a grater affect in the next fifty years. “The South African Country Studies Programme identified the health sector, maize production, plant and animal biodiversity, water resources, and rangelands as areas of highest vulnerability to climate change, and proposed suitable adaptation measures to offset adverse consequences.” (more info.) Based on this statement South Africa is in no place to be hesitating towards adapting to future scenarios. South Africa is however improving their system to deal with natural disasters and the way they are dealt with. They are also improving the system to make people aware of incoming natural disasters, or weather based on climate change.

Disease is also a problem that South Africa will face and with climate change the risk of Malaria is increased and the area it affects will grow. South Africa is implementing ways to control the spread of Malaria. Health risks are generating projects from the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, although it is unclear as to what they are.

The positive though is that, “Various government departments, private sector companies and research institutions are also actively involved in projects to minimise the vulnerability of South Africa to climate change.” South Africa could use any resources and help it can get.

(More info)

The National Adaptation Program of Action that best fits my country is the Uganda plan. The parts of their plan that really called my attention based on my country was the food preservation, water harvesting, and herbal medicines. South Africa has many resources crop wise as of now, and I think preserving part of this food since it is still available would be incredibly helpful to help crop/food shortages in the future. South Africa will definitely have water availability problems, and enhancing the strategies acquirement of water will help to relieve the stress that will be out on South Africa, come climate change and its effects. One strategy that I have second thoughts about is the “self-help” strategy. This strategy entails that community groups come together to help each other survive through hardships brought upon by climate change. My problem with this is, that a person who needs help themselves cannot offer much to their neighbor who is in the same state. Also Their might be conflicts within the communities. Political or personal reasons could effect peoples willingness to help the people around them. This strategy could work only if the people who are helping each other all have something to offer in help to others, and if they get along.

I found the idea of using biotechnology in Africa to make drought-resistant, early-maturing, and hybrid crops interesting. This could help with keeping the population fed, but I would hope that it doesn’t have drawbacks to it in quality of food. Improving communication in the country was also mentioned, and this will make a difference. Better communication means people will be able to communicate their needs and be responded to in a more efficient way.

From what I’ve gathered about my country, I believe that South Africa should adapt to climate change. As a country they are already suffering from multiple strains on food, health, and water. In the next fifty years as climate change begins to take a bigger effect mitigating will not help the population in the present. The present and near future is what they have to keep in mind, and if South Africa should survive they need to put more into adaptation. The coping mechanisms that they are applying to present situations have already been said to not be enough for their conditions as of now, and therefore will not be enough to sustain a healthy population while being affected by climate change at the same time. Leave the mitigation to more stable countries.




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