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South Africa / Flanders Climate Adaptation Research and Training Partnership (SAF-ADAPT)
The South Africa / Flanders Climate Adaptation Research and Training Partnership (SAF-ADAPT) is funded by the Government of Flanders, and is a 4.5-year collaborative project between three South African universities (University of Cape Town, University of Fort Hare, and University of Venda); KLIMOS, a consortium of Belgian universities and research groups; and the South African Adaptation Network. It aims to fill critical adaptation research gaps and enhance the capacity of South African universities and individuals, especially early career researchers, to generate and communicate research evidence for impact, and build the capacity of those tasked with climate adaptation to deliver on their mandates.
South Africa faces considerable challenges adapting to climate change so as to achieve climate resilient development. This is a key pillar of the country’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as of its own National Development Plan and climate change response policies. In South Africa, the research capacity and evidence base focussed on climate change impacts is strong, but for adaptation, the number of well-trained researchers, the existing evidence base, and the capacity of policymakers and practitioners to apply this knowledge to build climate resilience is much less well-developed. There is therefore a need to strengthen adaptation research capacity, generate new research evidence to support adaptation, and to build the adaptation community of practice across government, universities, NGOs, CBOs and the private sector.
What we do
The project will include: 1) research projects undertaken by Masters students, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers; 2) a research training programme and inter-university student and staff exchanges; 3) knowledge synthesis and communication; 4) training workshops that build the capacity of individuals to work more effectively on climate resilient development and adaptation; and 5) supporting the Adaptation Network to maintain and build South Africa’s adaptation community of practice across government, universities, NGOs, CBOs and the private sector.
What would success look like?
Desired outcomes and impacts include: (i) original, high quality research on climate change adaptation within the South African context, that fills strategic knowledge gaps; (ii) productive research partnerships between Belgian and South African research institutions; (iii) training and graduation of historically disadvantaged South African research scientists who are capacitated to undertake climate change research; and (iv) increased awareness and knowledge of civil society, private sector, multilateral organisations and local communities about how to respond to climate change impacts, and to engage in transdisciplinary climate change research.
Project Leads include:
Prof Mark New (ACDI), Research Lead from UCT (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr Leocadia Zhou (UFH), Research Lead from UFH (Lzhou@ufh.ac.za)
Dr NS Nethengwe (UNIVEN), Research Lead from UNIVEN (email@example.com)
Dr Bruno Verbist (KLIMOS), Research Lead from KU Leuven (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kate Cronin, Project Coordinator from UCT (email@example.com)