Southern Africa is recognised as one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. Adaptation measures are therefore needed to improve the resilience of societies and economies in the region, including mechanisms to reduce the risks associated with extreme events such as floods and droughts as well as salt water intrusion, in particular in Island States. To assist Member States with this process, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat developed a Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Strategy for the pivotal shared water sector.
The main goal of the CCA Strategy is to improve climate resilience through the strengthening and adaptation of water resources development and management in Southern Africa. The objective is to further develop the SADC shared water sector as a tool to decrease climate vulnerability, and to ensure that water management practices are well adapted to cope with increased climate variability. The CCA Strategy recognises that the adverse impacts on water escalate to other water-dependent sectors such as energy, health and agriculture. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is therefore being pursued.
The CCA Strategy promotes the adoption of a multi-dimensional approach to climate change adaptation, in alignment with IWRM. The strategy calls for the implementation of adaptation measures at different geographical intervention levels (local, transboundary river basins, SADC region), in different focal areas of interventions (water governance, water management, infrastructure development), and at different stages of the adaptation process (preparation, response, recovery).
The study was developed in-house by SADC and supported through GIZ, and went through a rigorous development and approval process including multi-stakeholder dialogues and reviews in the SADC region. It was officially launched in November 2011 on the occasion of COP 17 in Durban, South Africa.
SADC (2011): Climate Change Adaptation in SADC. A Strategy for the Water Sector.