The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, hosted a roundtable discussion on the South African draft National Adaptation Strategy in Cape Town on the 24th February, 2017.
Upon the publication of the National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCPR) White Paper, all provinces and multiple local governmental entities prepared individual adaptation strategies. This is in conjunction with the adaptation strategies that have been developed in the private sector. In order to align the various adaptation strategies, found both regionally and throughout the private sector, South Africa’s Draft National Adaptation Strategy was developed to reflect a more unified, cross-sectoral approach to climate change adaptation.
Assoc. Prof Gina Ziervogel (Adaptation and Vulnerability Specialist, University of Cape Town) provided an assessment of the draft National Adaption Strategy which has been produced by the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa. Strategic aspects of the Adaptation Strategy were openly discussed and presented with diverging opinions regarding the overall content from the various parties present. Strengths of the draft included recognition of the broader developmental context within South Africa, the cross-sectoral approach, attention to monitoring and evaluation, recognition for capacity building, on-going stakeholder consultation, and the role of science and academics. Concerns included terminology, for example the term ‘resilience’ covers too many areas, the relevance of the criteria used to assess and map vulnerability, ability to capture data and learning in practice, and the suggested institutional architecture regards where to house climate change within government. The discussion culminated in a round-table discussion with individuals expressing the role their respective organisations are playing in adaptation strategies.