Draft Climate Change Plan
Key Climate Hazards
The figure below shows projected changes in annual average temperatures, highlighting increasing temperatures throughout the district for the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. By 2050, the district is projected to be affected by higher annual average temperatures, which will adversely affect water and food security. Evaporation rates will also likely increase and agricultural outputs may reduce.
Increasing rainfall variability
The figure below shows projected shifts in annual average rainfall throughout the district between 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Annual average rainfall amounts vary across the district. There is uncertainty regarding projected future rainfall.
Increasing storms and flooding events
The figure below shows projected changes in the annual average number of extreme rainfall days throughout the district over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Increases in the number of rainfall days are likely to result in an increase in intense storms, and flooding events across the district.
The current delineation of biomes is depicted in the figure below, with the predicted shift in biomes shown in the following figure based on a high-risk scenario. The biomes have varying sensitivities to the projected impacts of climate change which are further exacerbated by issues such as the fragmentation of natural areas and unsustainable water usage rates.
Climate Change Vulnerability
A climate change vulnerability assessment is a way of identifying and prioritising impacts from climate change. The IPCC defines vulnerability as:
"Vulnerability to climate change is the degree to which geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change"
Summary of Climate Change Response Plan
A vulnerability assessment lets you identify these adverse impacts of climate change that are most important to your area. The climate change vulnerability assessment process that is used in this toolkit identified the following indicators in the table below.
Adaptive Capacity Comment
|Agriculture||Change in other crop production areas (e.g. vegetables, nuts, etc.)||Yes||All local municipalities in the District. Subsistence farmers are already struggling, and climate change will exacerbate the situation.||High||Cabbage, potatoes, spinach|
Contribution to the economy at the household level
Commercial and subsistence farmers
|Agriculture||Increased risks to livestock||Yes||Drought related, theft and veld fires. Dairy production in Harry Gwala is very substantial.||High||Important at the household level.|
Mainly for dairy and meat production.
Contributes to the economy.
Commercial sector has capacity
|Biodiversity and Environment||Loss of High Priority Biomes||Yes||Grassland has been converted to savanna.||High||Loss of open grasslands.|
Increased run-away fires.
Reduced grazing land.
Causes high erosion.
Loss of species and habitats.
|Low||EKZN Wildlife, DEA, EDTEA, DWAFF (Working for Water), SDF, EMF, LandCare.|
|Biodiversity and Environment||Loss of Priority Wetlands and River ecosystems||Yes||Loss of wetlands due to human activities and settlements.|
Wind-blown litter and dumping of litter.
Invasion by alien plants.
|High||uMzimkhulu River, Umkomaas River and Mzumbe River. |
Wetlands found throughout the District - including Franklin Vlei and Ntsikeni Vlei.
Ramsar- Ntsikeni and Drakensberg.
|Low||EKZN Wildlife DEA EDTEA DWAFF (Working for Water)|
|Human Health||Increased malnutrition and hunger as a result of food insecurity||Yes||High unemployment rate in the district and high|
dependency on government grants.
|High||The rate is sitting at 15.5.||Low||DARD and DOH|
Provision of food
Create more job opportunities
Encourage the practise of one home, one garden
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased migration to urban and peri-urban areas||Yes||Growth of informal settlements||High||Most people migrate to urban areas seeking employment opportunities resulting in the eruption of informal settlements.||Low||The District needs to assist Traditional leaders with skills development and creation of employment opportunities.|
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased risk of wildfires||Yes||Forestry|
Wide open land,
|High||Area is open and there are forests.||Low||Traditional leaders to assist with organising izimbizo for awareness programmes.|
|Water||Less water available for irrigation and drinking||Yes||Drought||High||Revenue collection is low, and management of water schemes is poor.||Low||Water authority|
Water and sanitation
Water reserve schemes are not in place
|Water||Increased impacts of flooding from litter blocking storm water and sewer systems||Yes||Blockage of stormwater drains.|
Non-effective collection of waste.
Rubble and garden waste not collected.
|High||Poor maintenance of storm water drainage due to the lack of funds.||Low||IWMP|
The CSIR Greenbook has also developed and refined a vulnerability assessment framework by collating relevant data into composite vulnerability indicators. Four local municipality level vulnerability indices were computed and are shown spatially below.
Social inequalities are the factors that affect the susceptibility and coping mechanisms of communities and households. Indicators for social vulnerability attempt to consider the sensitivity, response and recovery from the impacts of natural hazards. The CSIR Green Book has developed a socio-economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the Socio-Economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Environmental vulnerability describes the vulnerability and risk to the natural environment and the impacts on the ecological infrastructure of which surrounding settlements are dependent. The environmental risk of an area includes ecosystems, habitats, physical and biological processes (reproduction, diversity, energy ﬂows, etc). The CSIR Green Book has developed an Environmental Vulnerability Index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the environmental vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Physical vulnerability describes the physical fabric and connectedness of settlements (buildings and infrastructure) and focuses mainly on the conditions that exist before a hazard occurs and the expected level of resulting loss. The CSIR Green Book has developed a physical vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the physical vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Economic vulnerability describes the potential risks posed by hazards on economic assets and processes. Potential hazards can include job losses, increased poverty and interruptions in business activities. The CSIR Green Book has developed an economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
- CSIR. 2019. ‘Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change’. Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change. 2019. www.greenbook.co.za.
- Le Roux, A, E van Huyssteen, K Arnold, and C Ludick. 2019. ‘The Vulnerabilities of South Africa’s Settlements’. Green Book. 2019. https://pta-gis-2-web1.csir.co.za/portal/apps/GBCascade/index.html?appid=280ff54e54c145a5a765f736ac5e68f8.
SANParks. 2011a. ‘CCAB - Current Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/484
SANParks. 2011b. ‘CCAB - High Risk Scenarios - Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/486.