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Climate Change's 'Adapting Phase'

While South Africa hopes to roll back its carbon emissions to mitigate climate change, there is a more urgent need: to adapt to the climate change impacts that are already taking place.

According to Ashleigh Maritz, senior environmental scientist at SRK Consulting, extreme weather events like heat waves, long dry spells and greater rainfall intensity are placing added burdens on government, business and communities alike.

“The recent publication the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) comes not a moment too soon,” said Maritz. “Climate change trends are gaining momentum, and we need to adapt to the effects.”

Climate zones are already shifting, according to the NCCAS, degrading ecosystems and landscapes and placing both terrestrial and marine systems under stress. Management of water resources is a particular concern. The country needs to get better at anticipating extreme events like droughts and floods, and addressing the risks they present.

SRK Africa