Community-based adaptation to climate change focuses on people and their relationship to the resources around them.
EMG currently works with small-scale farmer organisations and artisinal fishers in exploring how they can build their community's resilience to the impacts of climate change. Together with each group, we try to gain a deeper understanding of the particular impacts of climate change on their lives and livelihoods, explore the questions that concern them, and develop a set of action-research activities they want to pursue. Apart from bringing benefits to the participating groups, the work aims to test and promote an Action Research methodology.
The impetus for some of this work came out of the testimonies made to the Pan-African Climate Change Hearings, hosted by EMG and Oxfam in Cape Town in October 2009. Click here to read the testimonies from South African participants.
West Coast Artisanal Fishers
A group of artisanal fishers in Doringbaai and Lambert's Bay have begun to collect data on their fish catches, the sea and weather conditions and their income.
The fishers are all members of Coastal Links and have enthusiastically embraced the process of building their own stock of knowledge about the near-shore marine eco-system and the potential climate change impacts. Their observations include catches of warm-water fish in their area, regular "swarms" of jelly-fish and storm-surges which threaten their slipway and boathouses. EMG facilitates regular workshops where the fisher's data is discussed and climate change's impact on their livelihoods are explored.
Cape South Coast Artisanal Fishers
The tiny fishing community of Buffeljagsbaai on the Cape south coast is highly dependant on marine and coastal resources and also extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise and storm surges. They are keen to learn more about their local coastal ecology and the potential impacts of climate change, so as to be able to build a more sustainable future.
Heiveld Co-operative and the Suid-bokkeveld
Small-scale rooibos tea farmers of the Suid-bokkeveld meet every 3 months to review past climatic conditions, their impacts and what the farmers were able to do to counter-act negative impacts. They also critically assess the Weather Bureau's forward predictions and share with each other what steps they plan to take to minimise the impact on their tea cultivation.
Ericaville Farmers Association
The Ericaville farmers cultiveat organic honeybush tea on their farm near Plettenberg Bay. In recent years they have been plagued by sequential droughts and floods which have devastated their yields. EMGs intervention includes regular workshops with the community, technical advise -- and recently, the installation of a temperature and rainfall recorder to allow for better forward planning.
EMG's work with these 4 community groups is done in partnership with Indigo Development & Change, Masifundise and Coastal Links and is made possible with funding from the DG Murray Trust, Comic Relief UK, and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF)
Visit the National Lotteries Board website to find out about other projects supported bythe NLDTF