The fifth Adaptation Futures conference, one of the world’s major gatherings on climate change adaptation, took place in Cape Town, South Africa this June. As a facility developing long-term adaptation solutions to improve the lives of the poor in Southern Africa, CRIDF was there.
Dr Pauline Lindeque represented CRIDF in the session Climate Change adaptation in natural resource management: a critical component of sustainable development. Here, Dr Lindeque shared the work CRIDF has undertaken on pathways to climate resilient livelihoods in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. This work aims to uplift local communities in the five-country conservation zone by exploring sustainable and climate ready economic opportunities within the tourism value chain. CRIDF has shown, using a virtual water approach, that modern irrigation and climate smart farming techniques can localise agricultural production for the sector without negatively affecting water resources.
The session on natural resource management also included presentations on diverse research and action in Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The panel was well attended, despite running in parallel to 14 other sessions in the busy Cape Town International Convention Centre.
In dialogue, the participants agreed on a number of essential points. They applauded moves toward more inclusive, livelihood-based natural resource management and conservation that recognise how the well-being of people and biodiversity are closely intertwined. They stressed the importance of engagement with people on the ground for meaningful climate adaptation. Finally, they called for best practices and successes to be documented and shared at every level – including at future global conferences such as this one.