Developed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a climate change adaptation strategy for the water sector was officially launched at COP 17 in December 2011 in Durban, South Africa. It effectively sees SADC take up the challenge of responding to the threat of climate change in southern Africa.
The strategy follows up on the results of a regional multistakeholder dialogue run in 2008 – facilitated by GWP Southern Africa on behalf of SADC. This facilitation involved linking policy and research across sectors and providing a neutral platform for many different stakeholders to air their views. The aim was to promote open dialogue between different sectors and between government and non-government organisations, as well as between scientists and policy makers at the local, national, basin and regional levels. As part of this process, GWP Southern Africa brought together water managers and decision makers, development planners, experts and scientists from different fields (water, energy, agriculture, finance, health, environment), as well as capacity developers, civil society and investors. Further inputs into the whole process were provided by dialogues in 2010 and 2011.
These dialogues informed the development of the climate change adaptation strategy and have been incorporated into SADC member state development priority frameworks. Such integration of the outcomes of these stakeholder dialogues into official policy processes has resulted in ownership of the concepts by the region and further investment in the development of the strategy by SADC International Cooperating Partners such as BMZ-GIZ, DFID and AusAID.