Exchanging ideas in South Africa: 2nd IKI workshop in Pretoria

The 2nd IKI Networking Workshop for South Africa was a one-and-a half-day gathering including political partner(s) – Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), the donor (BMU), the German Embassy and all implementing organizations and their respective implementing partners. The workshop took place on the 7th and 8th of November in Pretoria, South Africa. It served the purpose to foster greater cooperation and streamline the projects activities towards the partners’ priorities. Further, the workshop served as a platform for IKI supported projects (with components) in South Africa to share their work experiences, lessons learned, and knowledge products generated.

The BMU has supported South Africa since 2008 within the framework of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) through 60 (33 finalised, 27 ongoing) bilateral, regional and global projects. The current ongoing projects are as follows, 1 bilateral (CSP), 6 regional and 19 global programmes. In addition, the bilateral Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings and Infrastructure Programme (EEPBIP) is funded from the NAMA Facility to which BMU is the main donor. The projects are tallied as follows in their thematic orientation, 19 mitigation/Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV), 5 biodiversity, 2 adaptation and 1 REDD+ project/s.

A cornerstone in the broad landscape of IKI projects is the bilateral programme, the Climate Support Programme (CSP), implemented by GIZ which in its former phases, provided support to the development of different policies, including but not limited to, the country’s National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP) and the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS). In its current third phase, the CSP supports the DEFF in implementing the NCCRP in the areas of Mitigation, Adaptation, and Monitoring and Evaluation M&E. In addition, the CSP is strengthening the catalytic role of the DEFF in inducing other sector departments and the private sector to implement concrete climate-relevant projects (so-called ‘Flagship projects’).

Sectoral support in mitigation

The Climate Support Programme has been supporting the DEFF since 2009 in advancing mitigation related actions and policies. Support is being provided to all four units within the Chief Directorate: Mitigation on a broad basis, comprising, inter alia, but not limited to, technical advice and consultancy services on projects, etc. The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) through its project COBENEFITS outlines the co-benefits of climate change mitigation. Institutions in South Africa are strengthened in their ability to identify co-benefits of climate change mitigation. Also active on the nexus climate and energy, is the project SOLARPAYBACK, implemented by the German Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft e.V. (BSW) in South Africa, and other counties, it is promoting solar thermal systems for industrial processes in the textile, food, beverage, paper and chemical industries. The above-mentioned projects are accompanied by projects working primarily on sub-national level.

The project Strengthening Low-Carbon Development at the Subnational Level in Africa and South-East Asia (V-LED), implemented by Adelphi Research, supports the more effective design of local climate policies in South Africa, and other counties. In a similar approach the project Vertically Integrated Climate Protection (VICLIM), implemented by GIZ in South Africa, and other nations, aims at strengthening capacities of climate relevant decision makers and institutions to include subnational mitigation potential into an ambitious national climate policy. Both projects V-LED and VICLIM are trying to transfer successful policy approaches and instruments of the German National Climate Initiative (NKI) to partner countries. Also active on sub-national level, Cities Matter, a project implemented by C40 Cities aims to build technical capacity within nine African cities (for South Africa: Johannesburg) to develop long-term climate action plans, develop an innovative, consistent and comprehensive approach to transformative city low-carbon development, and identify mechanisms to facilitate better national and local integration of climate mitigation activities.

Support in adaptation

The Climate Support Programme supports the two DEFF Climate Change Adaptation directorates in the areas of adaptation policy, research, capacity building, planning and implementation. This support manifests itself at both national and sub-national levels, such as the development of a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Methodology which is being developed for all the nine Water Management Areas in the country. The global project Mainstreaming Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), implemented by GIZ, aims to provide evidence of the added value of EbA to climate change adaptation and to foster the implementation of EbA measures. Another global EbA project by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), explores the evidence for the effectiveness of EbA on the ground to inform and influence National Adaptation Planning processes (NAP). Cities Fit for Climate Change (CFCC), a global project implemented by GIZ, supports the development of a climate friendly urban development approach that can serve as a guideline for urban practitioners to enhance climate resilience and reduce emissions.

Sectoral support in Flagship projects

The Climate Support Programme is assisting with the implementation of the South African Government’s National Climate Change Response Policy, by providing expert knowledge and technical support. The GIZ CSP Flagship projects support specific areas: Small scale embedded generation, Energy efficiency in public buildings, Alternative waste management, Green buildings, Sustainable urban transport and Climate smart agriculture.

Support in Monitoring and Evaluation

The Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation currently receives support through GIZ’s Climate Support Programme. In addition, the DEFF’s Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluations Chief Directorate receives both technical and financial support from the Tracking and Strengthening Climate Action (TASCA) programme implemented by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Furthermore, the South African Government through the National Treasury has received support from the World Bank under the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) programme, to set up a carbon tax system in the country. This is part of the mix of measures available to address South Africa´s just transition to a climate-resilient and lower carbon society. Through this support, South Africa has earmarked a number of areas for development and capacity building, namely the implementation systems as well as Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) systems for taxing carbon. This includes, inter alia, the improvement of the National Atmospheric Emissions Information System (NAEIS) in which companies report their respective GHG emissions.

Support for Biodiversity Conservation

There are several IKI projects dealing with conserving South Africa’s rich biodiversity in general. The Climate Support Programme supported the DEFF’s Climate Change and Biodiversity branches through commissioning the identification and prioritisation of areas for urgent intervention within the different South African biomes wherein EbA pilot projects may be demonstrated. A global project implemented by the UNDP is addressing the financial resources needed to implement the CBD strategic plan in each of the 30 target countries. The project on Promoting Community Conservation Resilience of the Global Forest Coalitions also contributes to implementing the CBD strategic plan as well as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The GIZ project Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Benguela Current in cooperation with the DEFF and other regional partners aims to improve transboundary management of marine biodiversity and natural marine resources in the Benguela current. The UNDP collaborated in partnership with the Southern African Development Community to support developing country capacity to address science-policy questions through the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The IPBES provides a platform for policymakers to access objective and reliable assessments about the state of knowledge and development regarding biodiversity and related ecosystem services.

Sectoral IKI support for natural carbon sinks

The Climate Support Programme supports the collaboration of the DEFF and DALRRD on the REDD+ process through supporting the coordination of the process, technical advice, commissioning studies (such as the Phase 0 Report), and through workshops. The global Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) project, Global Forest Survey, in collaboration with DALRRD has developed a global network of permanent control points, which provides information for a global characterization of land use forms. Data collection includes an extensive selection of different subject areas, for example forest resources, biodiversity, changes in carbon balance and forest status.


The divers and rich IKI portfolio in South Africa contributes in various form to the country's aim to transition to a lower carbon and climate resilient society. The contributions to key policy documents such as the National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP), National Adaptation Strategy (NAS), draft climate change bill and the draft mitigation system and the action on the ground in their various form is visible and detectable. Further aligning and enhancing each projects contribution to the governments ambition is key going forward. Events such as this IKI workshop will help in this regard.

To support exchange of ideas and knowledge and to foster cooperation, it was decided to set up regular IKI platform meetings along dedicated topics under the leadership of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. The impact will be monitored over the course of next year and discussed at the forthcoming IKI workshop in 2020.

Header-Photos: GIZ South Africa