Wednesday, October 19, 2011

South Africa develops natural defences against climate change

Sue Blaine in Business Day (South Africa): [South Africa is] putting $1,65m into devising ways of using ecosystems to combat climate change’s negative effects, such as more frequent and severe flooding and fires, as well as droughts and crop failure, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said yesterday. SA would showcase the initial work of the Project for Ecosystem Services (ProEcoServ) at next month’s United Nations (UN) climate-change talks in Durban, Department of Environmental Affairs director-general Nosipho Ngcaba said.

"While much of the world’s attention during the negotiations will be on the negative impacts and uncertainties related to climate change, our department and its partners will be offering the world a more positive message of hope and practical solutions," she said at Monday night’s formal launch of the programme funded by the UN Environment Programme and the Global Environment Facility.

ProEcoServ lead researcher Belinda Reyers said yesterday that SA was one of four "pilot countries" — together with Lesotho, Chile, Vietnam, and Trinidad and Tobago — identified by the two funding organisations as being able to use the funding to augment the good work already being done.

For the first time in SA, scientists and policy makers would be working in tandem to ensure that "ecosystems services" — the benefits derived from ecosystems, such as agricultural lands and flood absorption — were embedded in national policy, Ms Reyers said. The four-year programme has three focus areas targeting climate change on a local scale, across a biome — a geographical area of similar climatic conditions and communities of plants, animals and soil organisms — and national policy, she said.

The funding comes to a close in 2014 but it is expected that ProEcoServ’s work will continue. Ms Reyers said further funding came from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi) and the CSIR, plus "in-kind support" from the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the department....

Morning in Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa, shot by Conrad88, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

1 comment:

boerenkool said...

thank you for the interesting article!