For the purposes of the CDRF, our focus is on climate action and other disasters that revolve around preventing, mitigating and responding to fire, flooding and drought, especially in relation to human settlements. This is in line with the national priorities of South Africa, as expressed in the National Development Plan 2030 (South Africa’s development roadmap) and the National Disaster Management Framework.
The Climate and Disaster Resilience Fund’s primary objective is to render proactive and reactive disaster-risk reduction support to various stakeholders that can, amongst other, contribute to:
- Improved welfare and humanitarian support;
- Disaster relief;
- Empowerment and capacity building;
- Conservation, rehabilitation and protection of the natural environment.
The Climate and Disaster Resilience Fund is conceptualised as an all-society response to the escalating risk of climate disaster, which accounts for the largest percentage of losses in South Africa’s disaster risk landscape. It will focus specifically on reducing and mitigating the impact upon vulnerable communities and landscapes that are exposed to climate–related fire, flooding and drought events as well as responding to support recovery from climate disaster events.
Why our focus is important
The all-of-society partnership embodied by the National Disaster Resilience Round Table and proposed CDRF is modelled on three interlinked global frameworks: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those goals relating to climate change.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) is the global instrument adopted in 2015 for managing disaster risks, and focuses on four priorities: understanding risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “build back better” after disasters. The Round Table’s focus on prevention, mitigation and recovery, underpinned by data-driven decisions, corresponds with these priorities.
An important aspect of the SFDRR framework that has great relevance for the CDRF is the emphasis on paying particular attention to risk preparedness in developing countries.
Scientists have long warned that developing countries, in Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, are likely to be worst affected by climate change-related disaster, and the Sendai Framework acknowledges the importance of enhancing risk reduction capacity and capabilities of these countries. This includes mobilising support through international cooperation, enabling developing countries to use the resources made available to address their national disaster risk priorities.
Paris Agreement on Climate Change
When signing the Paris Agreement on behalf of South Africa in April 2016, the Ministry of Environmental Affairs noted that South Africa as an African and developing country is highly vulnerable to climate change. Hence, the Agreement’s intention of limiting global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees, is of cardinal importance to South Africa.
As with the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change emphasises the importance of mobilising finance, technological support and capacity building for developing countries to minimise loss and damage from climate change and increase climate resilience.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Climate risk and climate change have the potential to undermine global and national efforts towards these broad objectives and it stands to reason that several of the SDGs directly address climate and sustainability issues:
- SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, strives to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
- SDG 13, Climate Action, calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
- SDG 15, Life on Land, seeks to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.