The Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact (CKZNCCC) in South Africa is a collaborative effort to share climate change information and experience amongst local governments in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in order to build capacity in the climate change field. The 6th CKZNCCC meeting was held in Pietermaritzburg at the Bisley Valley Nature Reserve Resource Centre and was successfully hosted by Msunduzi Local Municipality on August the 21st, 2015. The meeting was attended by representative members from the following municipalities: Msunduzi, KwaDukuza, eThekwini, uMgungundlovu, uMngeni, Ugu, uMhlathuze, Ilembe, Hibiscus Coast and uMshwati. Other institutions and partners at the meeting included the South African Local Governments Association (SALGA), National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and the Provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DEDTEA).
One of the key focus areas of the meeting was an in depth discussion on how the Compact could develop a collaborative work programme to enhance climate change adaptation throughout Central KZN. Community Based Adaptation (CBA) was identified as the one method that could be used to achieve this. Compact members highlighted the value of indigenous knowledge systems, and its relevance at improving adaptability of communities to climate change impacts. In addition, community resilience was highlighted. It was noted that the implementation of the CBA approach should ensure that the collective vulnerability of communities to climate change, is reduced by the adaptation measures put in place by the developed working program. It was agreed that compact members will plan a Community Based Adaptation project that will be jointly implemented by participating municipalities.
The National Department of Environmental Affairs presented on climate change mitigation strategies of the South African Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP) and associated National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory System, as well as the South African National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory System (NAEIS). Reporting on their national GHG emissions forms part of South Africa’s reporting obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and helps to identify the key contributors of GHG emissions in South Africa in order to make appropriate reductions. Companies and municipalities will soon be required to report on their emissions using the NAEIS, an online national reporting platform that caters for both air pollutants and GHG emissions.
EThekwini Municipality’s Energy Office then presented on their experiences in measuring their GHG emissions and shared the various tools that they have developed to track their emissions. EThekwini Municipality have been reporting on their GHG emissions since 2006 and report on both the community and government emissions using the globally developed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) standards. EThekwini Municipality have therefore been able to identify the highest sources of emissions and develop an associated set of reduction targets and strategies to reduce them. Both the National Department of Environmental Affairs and eThekwini Municipality’s Energy Office committed to provide assistance required by Compact members in developing their own GHG inventories.
From the discussions during the meeting, it was evident that Compact members found value in both the adaptation and mitigation experiences that were shared and were excited about future Compact engagements. At the end of the meeting uMgungundlovu District Municipality volunteered to host the next CKZNCCC meeting which will primarily focus on sharing information on CBA projects.