The Long-Term Adaptation Scenarios Flagship Research Programme (LTAS) for South Africa

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The Long-Term Adaptation Scenarios Flagship Research Programme (LTAS) aims to respond to the South African National Climate Change Response White Paper (NCCRP) by developing national and sub-national adaptation scenarios for South Africa under plausible future climate conditions and development pathways. This will be used to inform key decisions in future development and adaptation planning so as to build climate resilience.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is leading this process in collaboration with technical research partner the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and with technical and financial assistance from Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The first phase, completed in June 2013, developed a consensus view of climate change trends and projections for South Africa. It summarised key climate change impacts and identified potential response options for primary sectors, namely water, agriculture and forestry, human health, marine fisheries, and biodiversity. (see: Phase 1 research and policy products below)

The second phase, completed in July 2014, used an integrated assessment approach and model to develop adaptation scenarios for future climate conditions using the information, data and models from Phase 1 and inputs from a range of stakeholder consultations and task-team workshops. The LTAS Phase 2 reports are currently in preparation for publication. (see: Phase 2 Adaptation Scenarios Factsheet Series below)

Phase 2 process:

The first 3-day stakeholder workshop on 22-24 January 2014 used a plenary presentation and discussion approach in addition to breakaway sessions to obtain recommendations on reasonable and feasible adjustments to proposed methodologies, content and activities. (see 22-24 January workshop report and workshop presentations below)

The second 2-day stakeholder workshop on 12-13 March used a range of participatory methods, including world café and break away groups to inform the adaptation scenario building process. Specifically, participants identified key risks and adaptation responses and integrated these into stories/ narratives about South Africa’s plausible climate-global futures: warmer-wetter, warmer-drier (decarbonising world); and hotter-wetter, hotter-drier (high carbon world) (see 12-13 March workshop report, photo documentation and workshop presentations below).

The insights and input obtained from both stakeholder workshops were used in conjunction with past and current biophysical and economic research and modelling results, including the costs of adaptation, to build three core adaptation scenarios for the country under wetter; drier (<3 degrees) and hotter (>3 degrees) climate futures.

Please see table 1 below for a full list of products that will be available from LTAS phase 2 towards the end of 2014. There will be a total of seven technical reports; including one main report describing South Africa’s long term adaptation scenarios.

  • Climate Change Implications for the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  • Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Supporting the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in South Africa under Future Climates.
  • Climate Change Implications for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Sector.
  • Climate Change Implications for the Urban, Rural and Coastal Human Settlements in South Africa
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Food Security in South Africa – towards an integrated economic analysis
  • The Economics of Adaptation to Future Climates in South Africa (2030 and 2050) – An integrated biophysical and economic analysis of development and adaptation scenarios under future climates
  • South Africa’s Long-Term Adaptation Scenarios

LTAS Newsletters and workshop products

LTAS Newsletter 1 (November 2013) Updates on Progress of the LTAS

SA Risk and Vulnerability Atlas Newsletter (April 2014)

12-13 March workshop presentations & results:

22-24 January 2014 stakeholder workshop:

To download the LTAS Workshop Report conducted on 22-24 January 2014, click here.

Phase 1 research and policy products:

Summary for policy makers (a summary of high-level and key messages emerging from Phase 1)

Six technical reports (detailed results and information for climate trends and scenarios and economic sectors in South Africa).
Note: High res documents uploaded except for Climate Trends and Scenarios. 
         Low res versions and hard copy box sets of these reports are available
         by special request from Gigi Laidler.

Climate and Impacts Factsheet Series:
    Climate Trends and Scenarios
    Climate Change and the Water Sector
    Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector
    Climate Change and Human Health
    Climate Change and Marine Fisheries
    Climate Change and Biodiversity
    LTAS Phase 1 Methodology

Phase 2 Adaptation Scenarios Factsheet Series:

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Last updated on 15 November 2016
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