The Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact Meeting

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The first meeting for 2016 of the Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact (CKZNCCC) was hosted by uMgungundlovu District Municipality in Pietermaritzburg on 2nd February 2016. The CKZNCCC is a local and district government partnership within KwaZulu-Natal that advances a collaborative regional adaptation response to climate change.

The meeting started off with discussions of the Compact Operationalisation Training session and ICLEI’s Local Climate Solutions for Africa Conference (LoCS2015) that was held in October 2015, and was attended by compact members. In addition, a report back from the UNFCCC’s 21st Conference of the Parties that was held in Paris was provided. The objectives of the CKZNCCC align with the Paris Agreement and members were encouraged to refocus their effort from advocacy to developing climate change adaptation responses.

In the previous meeting it was suggested that member municipalities present case studies to promote adaptation action and share lessons with other member municipalities. UMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM) presented their uMngeni Resilience Project. The five-year project aims to build resilience and reduce climate change vulnerability of communities and small scale farmers within the uMngeni Catchment area. The project focuses on the development and implementation of early warning systems, climate proofing of settlements, the introduction of climate resilience crops and agricultural practices, and the capacity building of municipal officials. Lungi Ndlovu, from UMDM presented the project plans and the challenges encountered in the implementation of the project.  From a policy development perspective, uMsunduzi Municipality presented their draft Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. The strategy identifies nine goals that are related to the different sectors with the Municipality that would be most affected by climate change. These include Biodiversity and ecosystems; Water; Health and air quality; Energy; Waste management; Infrastructure; Agriculture and Food security; Awareness and Research; and Governance. The municipality will be submitting the final draft for council for approval in the upcoming month.

Future Leaders of Change is a youth organisation that seeks to bridge the knowledge gap between experts and communities on climate change related issues The organisation has made great strides in creating climate change awareness through various projects, this including their climate warriors project, where they are empowering the youth in the different wards within eThekwini  Municipality to take part in improving their environment by participating in a range of activities such as waste clean-up initiatives, the planting of indigenous trees and the use of agriculture in improving food security within their local schools.

The Compact also engaged in further discussions on developing a collaborative Community Based adaptation project. Members were given the opportunity to provide their ideas and a structured proposal for the project will be developed in the coming months.

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