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Climate Change and the Environment (193)

SAIIA's Western Cape Branch invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Dr Nicholas King, on “All Change for Climate: Our Climate is changing...what about us?”
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 85, March 2014
Despite the well-researched and recognised socio-economic and ecological values of mangroves worldwide, mangrove ecosystems are among the world’s most threatened vegetation types. More than half of all original forests have already been lost.
Mangroves are invaluable for fuel, fishing, climate change, disaster protection and tourism, but are rarely valued and protected appropriately. We spoke to Romy Chevallier, a researcher with SAIIA's Governance of Africa's Resources Programme who has recently been to Mozambique to conduct field research on mangroves, about this rare and misunderstood resource.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 170, December 2014
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 165, November 2013
SAIIA Report No 14, November 2013  Download - English (1.13 MB) Governance of Africa's Resources ProgrammeDespite their well-researched and widely recognised socioeconomic and ecological value, mangroves are among the world’s most threatened vegetation types. More than a fifth of the world’s mangroves have been lost over the past 30 years alone, and many of the remaining forests are degraded. The depletion of mangroves in many developing countries in particular is a cause for serious environmental and economic concern.
Close to half of the African continent is covered by dryland forests and these ecosystems support the livelihoods of more than 60 per cent of its citizens. However, we underestimate the value of dryland forests and SAIIA Researcher Mari-Lise Du Preez explains why they are essential.
Climate change, the focus of the 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) underway in Poland from 11 to 22 November 2013, is one challenge that requires a truly global response that encompasses environmental, social and economic issues. Reflecting this the term “green economy” has seen an upsurge in interest globally and SAIIA’s Economic Diplomacy Programme is undertaking new research in this area, especially since the issue was placed on the Group of 20 (G-20) agenda in 2012.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 162, November 2013
Sunday, 10 November 2013

SAIIA's work on climate change

The 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gets under way in Warsaw, Poland from 11 to 22 November 2013. SAIIA is doing extensive work on issues of climate change and is keenly watching the progress of the negotiations in the Polish capital. Below are a selection of resources SAIIA has produced on this issue.
From 11 to 22 November 2013, members of the United Nations meet for the 19th Annual Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, or COP19. SAIIA researcher Romy Chevallier has attended the last number of COP meetings. 
On 22 and 23 October 2013 SAIIA’s Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme and the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) co-hosted a conference titled ‘Best practice in the governance of Africa’s dryland forests: Implications for Southern Africa’. The event aimed to galvanise support for the dryland forests of Southern Africa among the public and private sectors, civil society and development partners.
The value of nature's ‘services’ and its non-market benefits need to be better understood and incorporated into the development choices that countries make. As resource-rich African countries are poised to receive an influx of new wealth from oil, coal and gas deposits, the need to motivate for coastal ecosystems to be prioritised, managed more effectively, protected and restored is becoming more urgent. In countries like Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique, mangrove and coastal forests coincide with the physical location of fossil fuel discoveries and proposed port and infrastructure developments.
Biofuels have been heralded as a solution to the world’s dependence on hydrocarbons and are promoted under international carbon trading schemes as a mitigation tool for climate change – impelling first world governments to incorporate biofuels into energy mandates for transport industries. Due to the amount of land needed to grow biofuel crops such as jatropha, sugarcane and oil palm, the biofuels market has given rise to a rush to buy up the world’s farmland.
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The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) would like to invite your school to participate in the 2013 SAIIA Environmental Sustainability Project (ESP) sponsored by Sasol! The project is a schools outreach competition that requires teams of learners to research an assigned topic related to environmental sustainability, and to consider what possible recommendations or solutions they would propose at a local, national, regional and/or global level. Tutoring, workshops, and resource materials are provided to each of the participating schools, and regardless of competition results, each school is invited to be involved in various programme activities throughout the year. 
The furore surrounding the mislabelling of meat products in Europe has now also reached South Africa’s shores, with a recent study finding that 99 of 139 meat samples from South African wholesalers and retailers contained species not declared in the product label. The samples included donkey, goat and water buffalo meat.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) has selected 50 outstanding high school learners from all over South Africa to participate in its inaugural SAIIA Young Leaders Conference from 9-14 December 2012. The conference will expose these young people to inspiring leaders in government, the private sector, academia and the diplomatic corps to discuss issues related to international affairs. It will give them the opportunity to debate and find solutions to a whole range of challenges, locally and globally.
The governance of Africa's natural resources continues to be a heatedly discussed topic. Alex Benkenstein, a senior researcher with SAIIA, speaks with leading researchers about their views on the key issues that need to be addressed to achieve effective governance of Africa’s natural resources. Watch the video [Duration: 8min 16sec] Download the podcast [Duration: 9min 41sec]
International climate change talks will kick off in Qatar today (26 November). The next two weeks will witness intense negotiations at the eighteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) between the UN and leaders from around the globe about the future of the climate change regime.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 59, November 2012
A SAIIA researcher, Romy Chevallier, will be attending the eighteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) on climate change over the next two weeks. She will be available to provide some commentary, updates and analysis from Doha. Other SAIIA staff specialising in climate change and African resources will also be available, based in Cape Town.
It is widely acknowledged that well-functioning ecosystems provide reliable and clean flows of fresh water and air, productive soils, healthy and balanced biota, and many other services that contribute to the well-being of humans. It is also widely documented that many ecosystems and the services they provide are under severe threat globally. Human pressure and economic activities are currently compromising the resilience of these ecosystems and eroding their natural capacity to deliver vital regulating, provisioning, supporting and cultural services.
Launched this month, "Community of Practice" is a new blog with fresh insight on Africa-related research. This blog gives individuals an online space to converge and take part in discussions with others around the world who are committed to improving Africa.
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