Southern Africa’s Dryland Forests and Climate Change Adaptation

Photo © Stig Nygaard/ flickr

The interior of Southern Africa, encompassing significant areas of drylands, will be severely impacted by climate change.

The region rapidly needs to implement proactive adaptation policies to pre-empt the worst of these impacts. This requires a clear focus on the unique yet vulnerable attributes of dryland forests as integral to wide-ranging ecosystems providing a variety of socio-economic benefits and services. These dryland forests are, however, already severely degraded from competing land uses and from over-use. To maintain and enhance their contribution to climate change adaptation requires implementing policies that incorporate full-cost accounting of natural capital; investment in restoration of degraded systems; enhancing connectivity for biodiversity responses as climate envelopes move; real-time research and monitoring; and incentivising and enabling community-based management to build local adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change. Specific guidance on the need to deliver livelihood benefits beyond climate change adaptation is crucial.

17 May 2014

File size: 88.60 KB

Research by
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 91, May 2014
Sub-Saharan Africa
SAIIA Programme
Governance of Africa’s Resources
Community-Based Natural Resource Management, Forestry Governance
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