South African government officials met in Cape Town last month for a five-day workshop to learn more about the intersection of climate science and policy.
This workshop, which took place from July 1 to 5, was a special session of the accredited Winter School offered by the University of Cape Town and organized by the Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG). Hosted in partnership with the South African Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network, this workshop provided an overview of the latest relevant climate science as well as sector-specific case studies and experiences on the use of vulnerability and climate information for practitioners engaged at various levels of decision making.
The bespoke curriculum was tailored to the needs of the participants, which included government officials from DEFF, a range of other national government departments and seven of the provincial lead departments for climate change. The goal was to provide participating officials with a structured grounding on climate science and climate change-related topics to inform their efforts to integrate adaptation in their work. Topics covered included climate change projections, climate modelling and downscaling theory, and climate services. Participants also explored vulnerability assessment approaches and methodologies, as well as adaptation planning and policy.
After participating in this Winter School, officials are in a better position to promote the implementation of South Africa’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy through improved understanding of climate science and the implications of climate change for South Africa, as well as increased awareness of the tools and information sources on climate science that are available to them in South Africa.