UNEP Risoe Centre has just released “Technologies for Adaptation: Perspectives and Practical Experiences” as part of its Technology Transfer Perspectives Series. Dr Katharine Vincent, Ms Tracy Cull and Dr Alec Joubert contributed a paper entitled “Technology needs for adaptation in southern Africa: Does operationalisation of the UNFCCC and associated finance mechanisms prioritise hardware over software and orgware?” This draws on Kulima’s experience in South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland, and argues that the UNFCCC and adaptation finance mechanisms inadvertently favour hardware (concrete infrastructure) over software (“soft skills” required to make behavioural and socio-cultural changes) and orgware (the institutional set-up and coordination mechanisms required to support the implementation of hardware and software).
Tag Archives: UNFCCC
Dr Katharine Vincent was a member of the expert panel and presented on adaptation at a National Business Initiative business seminar held today in Johannesburg. The event, organised as part of the preparation for COP-17, with support from the British High Commission and AngloGold Ashanti, had the theme “Adaptation: Building resilience and exploring opportunities in the face of climate change risks”. Dr Sylvester Mpandeli of the Department of Environmental Affairs was the keynote speaker, presenting South Africa’s position on adaptation and the latest status of UNFCCC negotiations, based on last week’s meeting in Panama City. In addition to Katharine, the expert panel comprised Mandy Rambharos from Eskom, and Justin Smith from Woolworths.
When it comes to motivation to act to address global issues, the fact that it is hard to discern the consequences of your individual impact relative to that of the other 6.9999 billion people on the planet is often a powerful disincentive. Climate change, like many other environmental problems, is one such issue: we all know that we should try and reduce our carbon footprint, but what difference can one person make? In fact, this very argument (applied at country level) partly explains the difficulty of the international negotiations (under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) to address climate change at the global level. When the USA withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol, they cited the reason that they did not see why they should reduce emissions when emerging developing economies such as India and China had no obligation to do so.
Deutsche Bank have come up with a powerful tool that reminds us all of how our actions are changing the atmospheric composition. Since seeing their Carbon Counter, displayed in New York, and the rapid rate of increase of greenhouse gases, we have all felt a more direct sense of responsibility which translates into empowerment to act.
South Africa releases Draft Second National Communication and Draft National Climate Change Response Strategy for comments
South Africa’s Department for Environmental Affairs has released the draft Second National Communication for comment. The document, which reports on the current status of projected climate change in South Africa, together with a status update on mitigation and adaptation measures and plans for the future (and the challenges to addressing them) forms part of the country’s commitments as a signatory to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Dr Katharine Vincent and Ms Tracy Cull collaborated with Dr Emma Archer and Ms Claire Davis at the CSIR to produce section 5.4, on public awareness, training and capacity building. Concurrent with the Second National Communication, the Department for Environmental Affairs has also released the Draft National Climate Change Response Strategy. Both documents can be downloaded from the Department for Environmental Affairs, and comments can be submitted until 11th February 2011.