Sub-Saharan Virtual Platform for Climate Change and Disaster Management

Concept Note

A Concept Note was drafted for the establishment of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Sub-Saharan Virtual Public Platform for Climate Change and Disaster Management (CCDM). The initiative is a joint effort from the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

Overall objective

Climate ChangeClimate ChangeThe establishment of a virtual public Platform for Climate Change and Disaster Management (CCDM) aimed at improved planning, advanced disaster management, awareness creation and information sharing on associated risks for Sub-Saharan African Countries.

Motivation for a shared platform

Poorly resourced Sub-Saharan African countries have limited resources and opportunities to interact and share information with their African counterparts in dealing with climate change and disaster management.

Recent and regular environmental catastrophes in Sub-Saharan African countries, such as Cyclone Idai, persistent and severe droughts throughout Southern Africa, and extreme wildfire disasters in the Western Cape and elsewhere highlighted the need for a better-coordinated stakeholder communication platform for Sub-Saharan African countries.

Environmental management issues such as large-scale offshore development for example LPG gas extraction from the Indian Ocean in Mozambique and South Africa, and recent marine disasters in Mauritius, set the scene for a platform for a better-coordinated Sub-Saharan effort.

Collaborative and knowledge-sharing platform

Rural TownshipsBeing a water-stressed area, the Garden Route district will greatly benefit from this collaborative and knowledge-sharing platform, which can provide learning and information to assist and support the GRDM land-use planning, its environmental strategic direction, as well as its decision-making towards collective efforts to support its Critical Biodiversity Areas and Ecological Support Areas.

The proposed initiative will assist with making available long-term datasets that can answer questions regarding direct climate change risk factors, as well as the risks and impacts on the Sub-Saharan continent, considering long-term climate change projections, which includes projections of a hotter and drier future for the continent, with further increases in sea-level rise and more extreme events such as heatwaves, droughts, floods and fires.

Through its experience and knowledge gained, the GRDM can share its knowledge and best practice with the Sub-Saharan continent. The initiative will enable the availability of comprehensive knowledge outputs on climate change, and will provide more technical information to all collaborative countries on climate change adaptation and planning processes.

The potential information shared through this initiative will assist the GRDM and collaborative Sub-Saharan countries to obtain essential information to set more focused and directed planning and management targets for specific areas of concern within their regions. It will also assist to shed more light on relevant research questions relating to the functioning of ecological processes, risk drivers, and essential ecosystem services to communities (both currently, and in the face of climate change), which are required to ensure that its biological features persist in the long term.

Considering the above, the initiative will therefore provide the GRDM and the collaborating Sub-Saharan countries with the essential knowledge and strategic tools to enable dynamic environmental protection and disaster management actions going into the future. With the threat of climate change and related risks, the initiative will assist in shaping future environmental management and sustainability paths within the continent.

Stakeholder groups


  • Governments
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Conservation entities
  • Nature reserves
  • Water sector
  • Coastal management entities
  • Disaster management entities
  • Waste and Air Quality Management
  • Food and agricultural sector
  • Input suppliers
  • Key land managers
  • Academics / research institutions

Stakeholder categories


  • Climate change
  • Climate adaptation
  • Disaster management
  • Waste and Air Quality Management
  • Coastal and management and coastal vulnerability
  • Drought relief
  • Food and poverty relief programmes
  • Invasive alien plant management
  • Wetland management and conservation
  • Energy and alternative energy
  • Biodiversity and biosecurity
  • Water security and conservation
  • Water technology
  • Fire management/ fuel load densification and reduction
  • Research support
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication
  • Awareness and training

Contact Information

Contact person for the GREF Secretariat:

Mr. Cobus Meiring, Chairperson of the GREF Secretariat

Mobile: 083 626 7619


Contact person for the Garden Route District Municipality:

Mr. Clive Africa, Executive Manager, Community Services

Tel: +27 (0)44 803 1524 | +27 (0)61 445 3012