National actions can be enhanced through collaboration among countries in Southern Africa. The importance of regional cooperation to support countries in climate change adaptation and mitigation has been recognised by the parties to the UNFCCC who collectively call for intensified regional cooperation. Climate change poses numerous risks to SADC (Southern African Development Community) goals for regional economic development.

SADC is committed to several international conventions and programmes on climate change and disaster risk reduction. These programmes are in place to provide guidance for climate change mitigation and adaptation and DRR, including the UNFCCC, UNISDR, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (which targets the preservation of internationally important wetlands) and the Convention of Biodiversity.

A framework of sub-regional climate change programmes has been developed with the support of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the Regional Climate Change Programme (RCCP), which is a SADC-wide programme funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) to facilitate the strengthening of adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change across the region. The development of this programme was guided by the report on the Southern Africa Sub-regional Framework of Climate Change Programmes. A climate change adaptation strategy has been developed for the water sector with the main goal being to lessen the impacts of climate change through adaptive water resources development and management in the Southern African region. The cross-cutting impacts of water issues are also recognised in the strategy as impacting on the energy, health and agriculture sectors.

On 26 November 2016, the meeting of the SADC Ministers responsible for disaster risk management adopted the SADC Regional Disaster Preparedness and Response Strategy, which is expected to enhance coordinated responses to extreme weather events and disasters in the region.

The SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) of 2012 aims to define the minimum but ultimate regional infrastructure development requirements and conditions to facilitate the implementation of key infrastructure in selected sectors (i.e. the water, energy, transport, tourism, meteorology, and telecommunications sectors) with the goal of attaining an integrated economy in the region for all member states by 2027 (SADC 2016).

A Tripartite Programme on Climate Change on Adaptation and Mitigation in Eastern and Southern Africa (involving SADC, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC)) is jointly funded by Norway, DfID and the European Union Commission (EUC). This programme is a five-year initiative which aims to address climate change in the region while building economic and social resilience.

SADC member states have not contributed significantly to emissions to date; however, current patterns of development may, in some areas, be unsustainable and may add to future ecological degradation (SADC-CNGO & Fess, 2011). Deforestation in the SADC region is a major concern and has been identified as one of the priority areas for regional action because of its contribution to an increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, land degradation and its negative impact on biodiversity and the balance of associated ecosystems (Lesolle, 2012). Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is a mechanism to create an incentive for developing countries to undertake forestry and related activities that together, at national (and in some cases sub-national) level, would contribute to climate change mitigation. The SADC REDD+ programme aims to improve the capacity of member states to manage and benefit from their national REDD+ programmes through regional cooperation and to also increase the influence of SADC as a region (SADC, 2013).

BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20. Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. Building peace and prosperity is a fundamental concept in the BRICS partnership.

A key element is cooperation in disaster management, which can also act as a catalyst for deeper partnerships in other areas of cooperation by BRICS member states. South Africa’s participation in BRICS recognises the country’s contribution to shaping the socio-economic regeneration of Africa, as well as the country’s active involvement in peace, security and reconstruction efforts on the continent.

Project finance

Project manager

Willemien van Niekerk

Willemien van Niekerk

Alize le Roux

Technical coordinator

Amy Pieterse

Project coordinator

Gerbrand Mans

Sibusisiwe Makhanya

Project monitoring and evaluation

Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA), No16 of 2013
Climate Change Adaptation Sector Strategy for Rural Human Settlements
Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF)

We measure ourselves against international standards and conventions in respect of practices, systems and products.
We conduct our business on a scientifically sustainable basis.We continually look out for new and better methods and systems.
We strive to do the right things and to do things right.

We maintain high standards of strategic planning and management.
We realise our objectives of creating economic value, and social and environmental responsibility through our management standards which:
We enable our employees to do their work conscientiously and honestly, enhances productivity and guarantees increased income;
We create fair and beneficial relationships with our clients.
We want to operate and manage in a way which prevents and eliminates corruption and fraud.

We want to create a safe environment.
We want to contribute to the creation of a stable social, political and economic environment
Develop the ZZ2 System through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Create exceptional value for our customers.Increase productivity and efficiency through innovation and change, with the aim of being excellent in all that we do.
Live up to our value system of a sustainable and living open system.

We want to create a safe environment.
We want to contribute to the creation of a stable social, political and economic environment
Develop the ZZ2 System through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Create exceptional value for our customers.Increase productivity and efficiency through innovation and change, with the aim of being excellent in all that we do.
Live up to our value system of a sustainable and living open system.


Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). 2013. Long-Term Adaptation Scenarios Flagship Research Programme (LTAS) for South Africa. Department of Environmental Affairs: Pretoria.

Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). 2014. Climate Change Adaptation: Perspectives on Urban, Rural and Coastal Human Settlements in South Africa. Report No.4 for the Long Term Adaptation Scenarios Flagship Research Program (LTAS).

Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). 2017. Draft Third National Communication on Climate Change Report to the UNFCCC. Published for public comment. Department of Environmental Affairs, Pretoria.

Habitat III. 2016. The New Urban Agenda Explainer. Explainer_FInal.pdf

Habitat III-SA. 2016. South Africa’s Report to the ThirdUnited Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). ISBN978-0-620-63626-1. Africa_1.pdf

Lesolle, D. 2012. SADC Policy paper on climate change: Assessing policy options for SADC member states.

National Planning Commission of South Africa (NPC). 2012. National Development Plan 2030: Our future - Make it work. The Presidency

Pieterse, A., van Niekerk, W. & du Toit, J. Forthcoming. ‘Creating resilient settlements through climate change adaptation planning’, Conference Proceedings: Planning Africa Conference 2018, South African Planning Institute. 15 – 17 October 2018, Cape Town

SADC-CNGO and FES. 2011. Climate change effects in Africa. SADC-CNGO Policy Paper Series – Regional Policy Paper 5. Southern African Development Community Council of Non-Governmental Organisations SADC-CNGO and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Botswana Office.

Southern African Development Community (SADC). 2012. Regional Infrastructure Development
Master Plan.

Southern African Development Community (SADC). 2013. SADCREDD+ Network: SADC Programmes.

Southern African Development Community (SADC). 2016. Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Development and Management PhaseIV, RSAP IV, Gaborone, Botswana

UNFCCC. 2015a. Historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

UNFCCC. 2015b. Cities, Towns, Regions Partner to Achieve Paris Goals.

Suggested citation:
Pieterse, A., Bruwer, A., van Huyssteen, E., Naidoo, S. & Thambiran, T. 2019.
Policy Implications. GreenBook.

© CSIR GreenBook 2023. All Rights Reserved.