The Climate & Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF) is conceptualised as an all-of-society response to the escalating risk of climate disaster, which accounts for the largest percentage of losses in South Africa’s disaster risk landscape. Our focus is on risks & disasters associated with fire, flood and drought.
It is envisaged as a partnership of key stakeholders in government, business, local communities, research institutions and NGOs. This collaboration seeks to support efforts to ensure that South Africans, vulnerable communities in particular, are better prepared for disasters arising from climate change and challenges relating to municipal capacity and spatial development. In addition the CDRF seeks to support post-disaster resilience.
THE OVERARCHING MISSION OF THE CDRF
Southern African citizens are better prepared for risks associated with climate change and disasters in the context of municipal capacity
The Knysna fires of June 2017 were the catalyst for a think tank of role players convinced that collaboration across sectors and interests was necessary to address the increasing challenge of wildland-urban interface fires. The initial group that came together to explore a coordinated response spanned various sectors from Academia, to insurance and government among others.
The National Disaster Resilience Round Table, as it became known, began meeting quarterly from September 2018. One of the first outputs was the Knysna Fire Research, conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and The Research Alliance for Disasters and Risk Reduction (RADAR) at Stellenbosch University. The report, published in June 2019, detailed the mistakes made and lessons learnt in the fires and was well received in the fire industry, government and the insurance industry.
While the initial focus of the discussions was on wildland-urban interface fires, this was broadened to include landscape fires, floods and drought, which are exacerbated by climate change. The Round Table also saw the need to move beyond discussion and into action. In 2020, in the interest of ensuring sustainable funding of recommended projects, the Round Table gave the green light for the establishment of the Climate Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF).
The CDRF is an independently managed fund operating as a registered Non Profit Company (NPC).