Climate News – April 2016

Climate News and events

Assassination of anti-mining activist on the Wild Coast

On Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, anti-mining activist Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Radebe was shot and killed at his home in Mdatya Village.  He was chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), which was established 10 years ago by AmamPondo people to resist attempts to strip mine along the Pondoland Wild Coast, along the northern coastline of the Eastern Cape province.  His assassination follows several years of threats, and suspicions that he was on a hit list.  Image below shows Sikhosiphi Bazooka Radebe, who played a heroic role in resisting attempts to mine community lands

AN1

Image source: Fred Kockott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonhle Mbuthuma, Secretary of the ACC and thought to be next on the hit list, reported to police that those resisting the mining fear for their lives.  During 2015, there had been several targeted armed attacks on members of the community. Civil society organisations have condemned the assassination, and called for the arrest of the killers, protection of ACC members, a Human Rights Commission investigation, and suspension of all mining license applications.


Adaptation Support Service to all Adaptation Network members

In response to queries raised about adaptation by various members, the Adaptation Network now hosts a Support Desk on the Adaptation Network website.  You can contact the Adaptation Support Desk with any specific adaptation related query, and we will assist you by drawing on the expertise of members and associates of the Network. We might provide information and links to relevant information, or put you in touch with resource persons from the spheres of policy, academia and adaptation practice.

Access the support desk at: Support Desk


Southern African Adaptation Colloquium

The University of Witwatersrand, African Climate and Development Initiative and Adaptation Network announced that the second Southern African Adaptation Colloquium: Solution spaces and futures, learning together in a climate challenged world, will be held in Johannesburg on 07 & 08 July 2016. It will provide a platform for researchers, practitioners, government officials, postgraduate students and members of the public who are working on or interested in climate change, adaptation research, practice and policy to proactively engage on climate change challenges facing southern Africa. It is an opportunity for people from various industries to share knowledge, learn from each other, debate and interact to find realistic and sustainable adaptation solutions to problems. The programme will feature local and international keynote speakers providing thought-provoking and challenging views on particular topics, information gathering sessions, discussion sessions and interactive working sessions

For more information please email info.gcsri@wits.ac.za.


Dates for Fynbos Forum shifted

The Fynbos Forum Committee announced that the 2016 Fynbos Forum has shifted to the last week of July, starting on Monday the 25th and ending on Thursday the 28th.  This change was made to avoid a clash with the local elections scheduled for August 3rd.

More information is available from: fynbosforum2014@gmail.com.


Invitation to participate in ASSAR research work

A series of outputs from the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions project has been made available for public input. ASSAR is a 5-year research project that examines the dynamics and drivers of climate vulnerability across a number of African and Asian drylands, while exploring ways to promote the resilience of people, local organisations and governments. ASSAR’s work is centred on governance, ecosystem services, and social differentiation, and aims to promote policies and practices that can lead to effective, widespread and sustained adaptation. The researcher are trying to ensure user-driven content from this project, and request your help in doing this through your participation in the surveys.

Animations on the climate trends and projections for ASSAR’s regions (Survey here)

ASSAR’s Theory of Change in stop motion! (Survey here)

Infographics about climate change in semi-arid regions (Survey here)

Gender and Climate video (Survey here)

Climate and wellbeing webinar recording (Survey here)

For further information please contact Nicholas Reay at reay.nick@gmail.com.


Least Developed Country Ministers urge all countries to sign Paris Agreement

At a meeting of the Least Developed Country parties to the UNFCCC in Kinshasa in early April, ministers and heads of delegations urged all countries to participate in the high level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement, convened by the United Nations Secretary General for 22 April 2016, and called for ratification “at the earliest possible date”.  They also urged all countries that have not already done so to ratify the Doha Amendment, for the IPCC to prepare the requested Special Report on 1.5 degrees Celsius, and for all parties to implement their INDCs and NDCs.  It is reported that 130 countries intend to participate in the event.

Further information is available here


It costs five dollars per person to save maternal and child lives

A study by John Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, shows that four million lives can be saved every year through expenditure of less than USD 5 per person on health care services such as contraception, medication for serious illnesses and nutritional supplements.  The study, which was published in The Lancet this month, analysed three essential packages of care that together comprise 66 proven health care interventions.  Those with the highest impact included addressing acute malnutrition, pre-term birth care, provision of contraception, management of labour and delivery, and treatment of infections such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria.  Increased access to contraception would reduce maternal deaths by 67,000, newborn deaths by 440,000, child deaths by 473,000, and stillbirths by 564,000.  Women and children are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and adaptation begins by addressing fundamental developmental shortcomings in order to increase resilience.


How corals protect themselves against bleaching events

Research published in Science this month shows that corals of the Great Barrier Reef are likely to lose their protective patterns against bleaching.  In the past corals were able to survive bleaching events because waters warmed gradually in the lead up to high heat events.  If they are exposed to a “pre-stress” period before the bleaching event, they have lower stress levels and are more tolerant when the bleaching event occurs.  The “pre-stress” acts as a type of practice run.  However, if warming is not gradual, bleaching events would occur more often and become more severe.  The study, conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence of Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, the University of Queensland, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration USA, examined 27 years of satellite data for surface temperatures, previous coral bleaching events, and corals’ response to sea water warming.  The researchers say that there is still a possibility for reefs that maintain their protection to maintain their coral cover, as long as carbon emissions are reduced in the near future.


IPCC sea level rise projections could be too low

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Pennsylvania State University revised estimates for sea level rise using new processes in a 3-dimensional ice sheet model and testing them against past high sea levels and ice retreat.  They show that Antarctic ice shelf melt is driven most by ocean temperatures, but in significantly warmer atmospheric conditions, air temperature becomes the dominant driver of Antarctic ice loss.  In addition, they say that if substantial amounts of ice are lost, heat retained in the oceans will inhibit recovery of the ice sheet.  The study was published in Nature.