Concept Note

A Concept Note was developed 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

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

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

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


Written by Marti Kirstein