89 research outputs found

    No. 08: Climate Change and Food Security in Southern African Cities

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    The current urban transition in the Global South is at the heart of discussions about the relationship between climate change and food security. This paper explores the links between climate change and food security within the context of the urban transition taking place in Southern Africa. Climate change is expected to negatively accentuate existing levels of urban food insecurity and these adverse impacts are likely to fall disproportionately on the poor. Researchers, planners and policymakers in Southern African cities are starting to explore how changes in weather associated with climate change are likely to affect urban lifestyles and systems. In order to do this, it is important to understand how climate science knowledge is used at the level of the city and how the impacts of climate change might affect city functioning at the metropolitan and household scales. One of the critical areas that has not been addressed in any detail is the extent to which climate change will affect the food security of the city and its inhabitants, especially within the context of high levels of poverty and widespread food and nutrition insecurity. This paper argues that it is important to understand the linkages between climate change and food security in Southern African cities to begin to design and implement pro-poor planning and programming

    Vulnerability to environmental change

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    The material is presented in the form of powerpoint presentations for 6 sections. Activities to accompany the slides are presented here. The slides form the basis of presenting the theory and linking it to key literature. Examples are provided in many places of how the theory is applied in case studies, often from work that the lecturer has been involved in and relevant to the southern African region. It is suggested that teachers who use this material in other contexts draw on local examples to support the theoretical discussions. Course objectives: 1. understand theoretical concepts of vulnerability 2. overview of what methods to use to assess vulnerability 3. understanding of the concept and application of adaptation to climate change. This 4 week module on vulnerability to environmental change is part of a third year course called Sustainability and the Environment (EGS 3021F) in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science , University of Cape Town. The course introduces the concept of vulnerability and explores its origin, drawing on three different conceptual approaches namely Risk/hazard, Political economy/ecology and Ecological resilience. It then looks at different methods for undertaking vulnerability assessments. Building on the theory and method sections it focuses on why the concept of vulnerability is important in the field of environmental change with a focus on climate change. The international process of assessing the science is explored followed by material addressing adaptation to climate change and examples of vulnerability and adaptation in practice in South Africa

    moving from projects to process

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    Rising rates of urbanization accompanied by increasing consumption puts the spotlight on how cities can mitigate and adapt to climate change (Wilbankset al. 2007; Sattherthwaiteet al. 2007). Globally, cities are starting to develop policies and plans to adapt to the impacts of climate change (Birkmann et al, 2010; Corburn, 2009; Horton et al. 2010). This is in part driven by the international scientific community that is encouraging adaptation as an important and urgent way to complement on-going mitigation efforts, that have formerly tended to dominate policies and finance (Romero-Lankao 2008). However, in some cases these emerging responses reflect a bottom-up awareness of the need to better plan for climate variability in order to increase the resilience of cities and protect its inhabitants. Many cities in the global South have been slower to develop adaptation responses than some cities in the global North. However, two cities in South Africa, eThekwini and the City of Cape Town, have been leaders in establishing adaptation policies and plans (Roberts 2008, Cartwright et al. 2008, Sattherthwaite 2007, Mukheibir and Ziervogel 2007). Exploring how these have been successful and what the challenges have been is important in developing lessons for other global South cities, where there are large numbers of people exposed to climate hazards. Because climate impacts are one of numerous other challenges, it is necessary to carefully position adaptation within a complex political and institutional landscape. This paper focuses on the five major coastal cities in South Africa, namely the City of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, eThekwini and Richards Bay. The analysis is based on interviews in each of these metros undertaken in early 2010 with 17 government actors all involved in adaptation in their different capacities

    No. 08: Climate Change and Food Security in Southern African Cities

    Get PDF
    The current urban transition in the Global South is at the heart of discussions about the relationship between climate change and food security. This paper explores the links between climate change and food security within the context of the urban transition taking place in Southern Africa. Climate change is expected to negatively accentuate existing levels of urban food insecurity and these adverse impacts are likely to fall disproportionately on the poor. Researchers, planners and policymakers in Southern African cities are starting to explore how changes in weather associated with climate change are likely to affect urban lifestyles and systems. In order to do this, it is important to understand how climate science knowledge is used at the level of the city and how the impacts of climate change might affect city functioning at the metropolitan and household scales. One of the critical areas that has not been addressed in any detail is the extent to which climate change will affect the food security of the city and its inhabitants, especially within the context of high levels of poverty and widespread food and nutrition insecurity. This paper argues that it is important to understand the linkages between climate change and food security in Southern African cities to begin to design and implement pro-poor planning and programming

    The Impact of HIV/AIDS in the Context of Socioeconomic Stressors: an Evidence-Driven Approach

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    In this paper, we present an agent-based simulation model of the social impacts of HIV/AIDS in villages in the Sekhukhune district of the Limpopo province in South Africa. AIDS is a major concern in South Africa, not just in terms of disease spread but also in term of its impact on society and economic development. The impact of the disease cannot however be considered in isolation from other stresses, such as food insecurity, high climate variability, market fluctuations and variations in support from government and non-government sources. The model described in this paper focuses on decisions made at the individual and household level, based upon evidence from detailed case studies, and the different types of networks between these players that influence their decision making. Key to the model is that these networks are dynamic and co-evolving, something that has rarely been considered in social network analysis. The results presented here demonstrate how this type of simulation can aid better understanding of this complex interplay of issues. In turn, we hope that this will prove to be a powerful tool for policy development.Agent-Based Social Simulation, Evidence-Driven Modeling, Socioeconomic Stressors, HIV/AIDS Impact

    Negotiated resilience

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    International Environmental Justice and the Climate Change Challenge

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    This course module is one section of a larger course called Geography, Development and Environment that runs as a first year course in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town. The course work provided here is one of 3 modules including 1) the global economic environment, 2) regional dynamics of development, and 3) the North-South debates on environmental problems. This module falls under the theme of North-South debates on environmental problems. The courses use theories of underdevelopment and climatic change to explain global and regional inequalities and environmental problems. Key concepts in the course are: trade, foreign aid, regional integration, and climatic change. The objectives of this section of the course are to begin understanding: 1. the concepts of environmental justice and climate change, 2. the relationship between environmental change and development, and 3. the international politics of global environmental change, This topic provides the scope for debate among students because of the contentious nature of the subject, and the lack of clear answers. Importantly this course focuses on presenting multiple explanations and diverse viewpoints and is intended to provide context, history and structure for students’ thinking. Students are not provided with solutions, but instead encouraged to develop their own explanations and responses to climate change and justice. This 4 week module, supported by powerpoint slides, uses climate change to explore key environmental and geographical issues including: justice, scale, international equality, global political processes, and environmental change. We begin by examining the foundation and principles of the environmental movement, distinguishing between different types of environmentalism and articulating early environmental conflicts between the North and South (presentations 1, 2, 4). We then develop ideas of environmental justice (presentation 3) and how it applies to climate change

    Local participation in decentralized water governance : insights from north-central Namibia

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    The study analysis reveals that decentralized governance of water resources can be ineffective if governments do not allocate sufficient resources to support and enable local governance systems. In southern Africa, community-based management of natural resources has expanded in line with governments’ stated intentions of increasing local participation and ownership. Their capacities to contribute meaningfully to decentralized water management, as well as the presence of enabling institutional arrangements and financial resources, are limited. Achieving greater equity and efficiency in the water sector while reducing climate risk will require that local actors receive more support in return for fuller and more effective participation

    Vertical integration for climate change adaptation in the water sector:lessons from decentralisation in Africa and India

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    Vertical integration, which creates strategic linkages between national and sub-national levels, is being promoted as important for climate change adaptation. Decentralisation, which transfers authority and responsibility to lower levels of organisation, serves a similar purpose and has been in place for a number of decades. Based on four case studies in semi-arid regions in Africa and India, this paper argues that vertical integration for climate change adaptation should reflect on lessons from decentralisation related to governing natural resources, particularly in the water sector. The paper focuses on participation and flexibility, two central components of climate change adaptation, and considers how decentralisation has enhanced or undermined these. The findings suggest that vertical integration for adaptation will be strengthened if a number of lessons are considered, namely (i) actively seek equitable representation from marginal and diverse local groups drawing on both formal and informal participation structures, (ii) assess and address capacity deficits that undermine flexibility and adaptive responses, especially within lower levels of government, and (iii) use hybrid modes of governance that include government, intermediaries and diverse local actors through both formal and informal institutions to improve bottom-up engagement

    Vulnerability and Risk Assessment in Botswana's Bobirwa Sub - District: Fostering People - Centered Adaptation to Climate Change

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    In November 2015, ASSAR’s (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions) Southern Africa researchers from the University of Botswana (UB), University of Cape Town (UCT), University of Namibia (UNAM) and Oxfam, conducted a two-day Vulnerability Risk Assessment (VRA) in order to bring stakeholder groups closer to ASSAR’s work. Based on the findings, the aim was to reassess ASSAR’s priorities. The workshop was attended by various government officials, Village Development Committee (VDC) members, local community members, and representatives from farmer committees
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