Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa: 2nd Edition

By Claire Davis and Katharine Vincent

The 2nd edition of the “Climate Risk and Vulnerability Handbook for Southern Africa” presents the latest available scientific knowledge on the nature of climate change and its implications for southern Africa. The handbook serves as an important guide for climate and development practitioners, researchers and students.  An executive summary is targeted specifically at policy-makers.

Reliable and accessible climate information is an important tool in responding to the impacts of climate change and the development of robust response strategies (adaptation and disaster risk reduction). The Handbook was conceived and designed to provide decision-makers with up to date information, appropriate for country planning, on the impacts and risk of climate change.

The 2nd edition updates and builds on the critically acclaimed 1st edition, which helped support Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) level engagement (partly through providing source material for the SADC Climate Change Think Tank in early 2012; as well as the SADC Climate Change Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Response Framework) and country-level capacity building in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among others.

The content of the 2nd edition covers the likely physical manifestations of climate change in southern Africa, together with an understanding of how social vulnerability and adaptive capacity are likely to affect the ways in which such changes translate into impacts. A number of key sectors are selected to illustrate best practices in assessing vulnerability, agriculture and livestock, commercial forestry, terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, water resources, coastal zone, settlements, human health, energy and air quality.

The Handbook for Southern African on Climate Risk and Vulnerability is accompanied by a concise Executive Summary that will support decision makers in southern Africa as they implement NDCs under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement as well as national climate change policies and strategies.

The lead authors of this report are Claire Davis (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa) and Katharine Vincent (Kulima Integrated Development Solutions, South Africa) with key inputs from a multi-disciplinary team that comprises climate scientists, social scientists with experience in impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, as well as communications experts.

Citation: Davis, C.L. and Vincent, K. 2017: Climate Risk and Vulnerability: a Handbook for Southern Africa (2nd Edition), SunMedia Press, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The project was funded by USAID with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), South Africa. The authors would like to acknowledge the Applied Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science (ACCESS), Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use (SASSCAL), and Future Climate For Africa UMFULA (Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications) project for supporting the research presented in the handbook.