Climate change and desertification in South Africa – science and response
AbstractDespite significant attention paid to desertification and climate change in the last few decades, interactions between the phenomena, as well as implications thereof, have received less of a focus. Such a trend is particularly marked in the science–policy arena, at multiple scales. Reynolds et al. (2007) observe, for example, the lack of a focused international science programme in desertification – a gap that may compound the problem. This article seeks to unpack two-way interactions between climate change and desertification, using selected case studies from the South and southern African, and global, contexts. It considers emerging approaches to responding to climate change in the context of desertification, emphasising the need for improved integrated biophysical and social science approaches, a focus on multiple synergies and cross-sectoral strategies, and the need for improved communication across the science–policy divide.
Keywords: climate change; land degradation; southern Africa
African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2009, 26(3): 127–131