Global change: South Africa.
Global change refers to planetary-scale changes in the earth's system. This system consists of land, ocean, atmosphere, polar region, life, planetary cycle and earth processes. The term 'global change' encompasses population, climate, economy, transport, communication, land use, urbanization, atmosphere circulation and more. South Africa is known for its beauty, rich biodiversity and abundant wildlife. Climate change has however posse real risk to these assets and the population. In climate terms, South Africa is subject to drought and floods. Their source of livelihood, especially for the poor population is agriculture and fishery. Most crops are grown where it’s just climatically suitable and with limited water supply. Variations in rainfall or temperature exacerbate this stressed environment.
That climate threatens to change for the worst because of rising global emissions of green house gas. Dry seasons are becoming longer and wet seasons start later. Climate change adds to the pressure on the environment, and natural resources, on which South Africa rely. Conventional development as carried out in South Africa has not focused on reducing poverty, which exacerbated poverty and ill health. This force the country to respond to the impacts of climate change by reducing emissions and helping the poor adapt to the changing climate. Energy production raises concerns. South Africa depends on coal-fired energy which emits tons of carbon dioxide higher than the global average.
Provision of adequate transport, power, communication networks, water, sanitation and infrastructure is mandatory but this implies that the green house gas emissions will increase. Climate change was seen as a distant threat, not a priority to the majority denied homes during apartheid. Now problems such as unemployment, housing blockage, HIV-positive pregnant women attending anti-natal clinics makes it hard as the population is torn between environmental and development problems.
Global change is therefore catastrophically such as it acceleration of sea rise level, droughts, floods, storm and heat waves. This has impact on everyone in South Africa because it disrupts food production and threatens vitally important species, habitants and the ecosystem. Five years ago, South Africa's port of Durban was threatened by storm surges and sea-level rise. This climate adaptation policy is the same as in London and New-York but is now experiencing more policies suited for developing countries. The government is committed to address climate change and is in the process of drafting the white paper on the national climate change response.