Climate change is affecting land, water, and biodiversity in a variety of ways. Higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, increasing extreme events (droughts and floods), and increasing disturbances are occurring across South Africa, with negative effects on already sensitive systems. These kinds of changes, combined with other ongoing stresses, highlight how we need to better our understanding of how climate change may affect landscapes, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and local economies now and in the future. While managing ecosystems and resources by relying on an expected set of climate conditions may have worked in the past, a growing number of experts understand the need to develop new ways to manage ecosystems in the face of climate change. The morning of 18 March 2016 saw the CPLO host a roundtable discussion on The Impact of Climate Change on South African Natural Resources. Speaking at the event were Dr Amos Madhlopa from the Energy Research Centre at UCT, Ms Zuziwe Jonas from the South African National Biodiversity Institute; Mr Obed Phahlane from the Agricultural Research Council; and Mr Floid Chauke representing the Department of Environment Affairs. This roundtable discussion was an opportunity to explore some of these avenues.
L-R: Ms Zuziwe Jonas; Floid Chauke; Peter-John Pearson (CPLO Director); Palesa Ngwenya (CPLO Researcher); Obed Phahlane; & Dr Amos Madhlopa