Managing climate change requires a twofold approach – adapting to its effects and striving to slow its progress. As Southern Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, SADC has enacted policies aimed at climate change adaptation, and also participating in efforts to turn back the effects of rising global temperatures and reducing their potential harm to the region.
Africa is home to 14% of the world’s population, but it only emits 3% of global fossil fuel carbon and 5.3 % of global greenhouse gases (from all non-land use sectors). These statistics encourage SADC in its aim of reducing emissions, in-line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
However, since 1990, Southern Africa has experienced the highest rate of deforestation in Africa, contributing 31% to Africa’s deforested area. Biomass carbon losses from deforestation in SADC Member States amount to 54% of those from the entire continent. Carbon emissions from combined deforestation and degradation are over five times larger than those from all other sources.
Therefore, slowing deforestation is the highest priority for climate change mitigation in the region, with SADC advocating sustainable management and conservation of the regional forests as particularly urgent measures.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
The SADC Support programme on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) 2012-2015 provides background information on climate change and REDD, a framework to improve the capacities of Member States to design national REDD programmes and to cooperate on REDD issues that are strategic and of common and regional interest.
- SADC REDD Strategy
- SADC Policy Paper on Climate Change: Assessing the Policy Options for SADC Member States - English / French / Portuguese