People and ecosystems in Southern Africa are extremely vulnerable to climate change. Forest and rangeland ecosystems play a vital role by supplying goods and services to rural communities but are under threat from climate change and human pressures. While many climate change efforts in Southern Africa to date have focused on mitigation (e.g. REDD+), countries are recognizing the urgency to build resilience and facilitate adaptation to climate change. National actions can be enhanced through collaborative work among countries in the sub-region.

The importance of regional cooperation to support countries’ in climate change adaptation has been recognized by the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Working in partnership, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), aim to facilitate cooperation on climate change adaptation in the forestry and rangeland sectors among SADC member countries to address common needs, for example, in capacity strengthening, research, communications and planning and assessing impact of measures adaptation on the ground.


The objectives of the workshop are to take stock of countries’ current efforts related to forests, rangelands and climate change and to identify priorities for cooperative work in adaptation aimed at addressing gaps and common needs through a sub-regional programme. 


A total of 23 participants from 13 countries took part in the workshop. The countries represented were Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Namibia and Seychelles were unable to attend. In addition to the country participants, officers from the following organizations participated: SADC Secretariat, FAO (Headquarters, Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa and the FAO Representation in South Africa), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), The Belgian Ambassador to South Africa attended and addressed the opening plenary. Staff of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa (CSIR) and Kulima Integrated Development Solutions participated in their capacity as resource persons.

Expected outputs of the workshop

The expected outputs of the workshop were as follows:

  • A background document on “Forests, rangelands and climate change in the Southern Africa”, prepared to provide an overview of the current status of issues and actions and to set the scene for the workshop discussions
  • Country reports prepared and the key points presented at the workshop
  • A draft Programme Identification Framework/Programme Framework Document outlining the key areas of work of the proposed regional project

African Forestry and Wildlife Commission - side event on Forests, Rangelands and Climate Change Adaptation in Southern Africa

A side event on Forests, Rangelands and Climate Change Adaptation in Southern Africa, was organized at the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, 4th of October, Windhoek, Namibia.

The objectives of the side event were i) to present the draft Program Framework Document (PFD)of the project initiative and provide an opportunity for the SADC member states to discuss it together; and ii) to present a new publication on forests, rangelands and climate change adaptation in Southern Africa, which provided useful background information for the June workshop and the preparation of the PFD. Click here for the full summary.



last updated:  Wednesday, October 30, 2013