Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Preparedness in Southern Africa


Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Preparedness in Southern Africa

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The majority of African states will be faced with water scarcity and stress by 2050. Photo by CIAT (Creative Commons)


Africa has contributed very little to global warming, but it will be affected severely by climate change. While the continent has a role to play in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, Africa’s major focus is on issues of adaptation. In order to address the challenges of adaptation to climate change, African countries need substantial financial resources. At the same time, they require information systems, technical capacity, and the right policies and institutions. The governance of climate change adaptation is as important as its finance.

The provision of financing for adaptation has become a major issue in international climate policy. While the UNFCCC COP 15 in Copenhagen, in December 2009, did not arrive at bidding agreements, the “Copenhagen Accord” promises substantial finance in the years to come. At the same time, African countries have begun to establish and extend systems, institutions and policies designed to deal with climate change adaptation.

This series of studies gives an overview about efforts to address the challenges of adaptation to climate change so far, undertaken in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, respectively. It provides information on existing policies and maps institutions and main actors in a rapidly emerging policy area that is influenced by a numerous actors and interests. The studies constitute a snapshot into the state of adaptation preparedness in Southern Africa, as at mid-2010. They show what Southern African countries have already achieved in this regard. But they also identify problems, many of which are similar and related to issues encountered in governance and development policy debates more generally.

The studies should be of interest to everybody working in the area of climate change in Southern Africa – to those who seek general information and orientation in the field, as well as to experts already working towards a sound response to climate change in the region.



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