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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

6 May 2019

On 6 May 2019, the Minister of Environmental Affairs published the Draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) for public comment. According to the draft NCCAS, its purpose is to provide “… a common vision of climate change adaptation and climate resilience for [South Africa], and [outline] priority areas for achieving this vision.” the document also purports to be “… South Africa’s National Adaptation Plan and fulfils South Africa’s commitment to its international obligations as outlined in the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

Its stated functions are the following:

  • Acts as a common reference point for climate change adaptation efforts in South Africa in the short to medium-term, providing guidance across all levels of government, sectors, and stakeholders affected by climate variability and change.
  • Provides a policy instrument which national climate change adaptation objectives for the country can be articulated to provide overarching guidance to all sectors of the economy.
  • Facilitates the degree to which development initiatives at different levels of government and business integrate and reflect critical climate change adaptation priorities, and thus inform resource allocation by the various stakeholders towards climate change resilience.
  • Guides stronger coherence and coordination on climate change adaptation activities between different institutions and levels of government.
  • Supports South Africa in meeting its international obligations by defining the country’s vulnerabilities, plans to reduce such vulnerabilities and leverage opportunities, outlining the required resources for such action, whilst demonstrating progress on climate change adaptation.

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Section 24of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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