Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change


Building Resilience to Climate Change workshop

On the 11th and 12th March 2011, project implementers in Namaqualand from as far afield as Pofadder, Leliefontein, and Onseepgans travelled to the small harbour town of Port Nolloth in the Greater Richtersveld for a two-day workshop on climate change and water. Conservation South Africa (CSA) and the Climate Action Partnership (CAP) hosted the workshop in partnership with Skeppies projects participating in the Skeppies-CitiGroup Building Resilience to Climate Change Programme.

The workshop was attended by fourteen project implementers who represented the five established Skeppies projects as well as the four new recently approved SKEPPIES and a representative from the Biodiversity and Red Meat Initiative (BRI) of CSA’s Biodiversity Stewardship Programme.

Mixed in age and experience, the group shared their experiences about climate monitoring and taught each other how to use the thermometers, rain gauges, and log books which were provided by CAP. The group also learned about climate change, ecosystem services, and the importance of saving water through the assistance of interactive sessions with CAP facilitators. CSA’s Skeppies Project Developer, Nicholaas Sigamu guided the project implementers through reporting processes and financial reporting for purposes of their SKEPPIES funded projects. Smaller groups were formed and instructed to work from case studies which Sigamu provided in order for the groups to complete the reporting templates together. Worksheets and information packs were also provided.

The highlight of the weekend was a field trip to the Port Nolloth Community Bird Park, which is a restored wetland and a Skeppies project located on the outskirts of Port Nolloth. Project implementers took the group on a guided tour within the Port Nolloth Community Bird Park, proudly showing achievements to date. This was followed with an interactive session in which the workshop group worked together to identify the threats the wetland is facing, and to determine the considerable value and role that the wetland provides to the Port Nolloth community. In a lively feedback session afterwards the project implementers assisted Port Nolloth Bird Park with their planning.
Never short of warm Namaqualand hospitality, plenty of good food , cool misty nights, and unwavering opportunities to learn from each other, the weekend along the diamond coast of South Africa at the Port Nolloth sea was well enjoyed by everyone. ‘The workshop was very informative. I can use all of that information in my project and also tell other people about climate change’, said Vera Engelbrecht, the Kookskerm Coordinator and proprietor of the Leliefontein Kookskerm.

The Greater Richtersveld is a Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme Priority Area, part of the Succulent Karoo Biodiversity Hotspot, and includes the Gariep region which has a staggering 2700 plant species, 560 of which are endemic. Since 80% of the plant species are succulents, this region is widely regarded as having the world's highest succulent and lichen diversity.

Click the image to enlarge:
Click the image to enlarge: Workshop participants with their climate monitoring equipment
Workshop participants with their climate monitoring equipment
Posted: 3/18/2011 (5:17:13 AM)

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