Sustainable development, disaster-risk reduction and governance : assessing climate change adaptation challenges facing South Africa

Show simple item record Mgquba, Smangele K 2012-03-06T13:13:15Z 2012-03-06T13:13:15Z 2012-03-06
dc.description Ph.D., Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, 2011 en_US
dc.description.abstract In this study, the linkages between sustainable development, disaster-risk reduction and governance are explored, with reference to climate change adaptation. The purpose of the assessment is to ascertain the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of these inter-linkages with regard to climate change adaptation in South Africa. First, a brief review of theoretical debates on sustainable development, disaster-risk reduction, governance and climate change adaptation is given. Currently, it seems, sustainable development, disaster-risk reduction and governance are viewed exclusively from each other and from climate change adaptation. Some theoretical debates suggest that successful, long-term climate change adaptation can only be accomplished if linkages between these concepts, and practices, where relevant, are recognized in development policies. There is thus, a need to understand the relationships between climate change adaptation and development policy AND their linkages and tradeoffs. Coupled to this understanding, there is also a need to assess the role of institutions as well as institutional barriers that may retard or pose a threat to long-term sustainable adaptation. For this case study, the focus is on the 2004/05 drought that occurred in the Eastern Cape. The drought of 2004/05 was particularly severe. Some parts of the Eastern Cape were declared disaster areas. This declaration prompted responses from the various spheres of government, e.g. national, provincial and local. The intention therefore is, firstly, to gain clarity on the linkages between development/sustainable development policies, disaster-risk reduction and governance in the Province that operated during this period and in the periods following this drought. Secondly, the intention is to understand how the spheres of governance work together in responding to climate-related disasters. Responses from the community reveal that coupled to poor development planning; there is also limited and poor institutional capacity to respond to the direct and indirect impacts of climate variability and change. This poor institutional capacity is further complicated by a lack of coordination between the three spheres of government, i.e. national, provincial and local, as well as across national government departments. It is suggested that first, a good structure of cooperative governance and disaster-risk reduction is needed in South Africa. This structure should allow for multi-faceted and holistic development planning that focuses on saving lives, protecting livelihoods and assets. A good structure of governance should provide an environment that is sustainable and conducive to long-term climate change adaptation. What this case study also reveals is that monetary relief and assistance alone is not an effective response to climate variability and change. What is thus also needed is more vigilant monitoring of development projects and relief-funds as well as coordinated governance of development activities between national, provincial and local governments. Such an organized structure of governance could aid the country in gearing up for climate change adaptation. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Climatic changes, risk management en_US
dc.subject Climatic changes, social aspects en_US
dc.subject Emergency management en_US
dc.subject Disasters, risk assessment en_US
dc.subject Disasters, South Africa en_US
dc.subject Climatic changes en_US
dc.title Sustainable development, disaster-risk reduction and governance : assessing climate change adaptation challenges facing South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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