New Article: ‘Adapting to climate change in South Africa: commercial farmers’ perception of and response to changing climate’

Wild, N. and Ziervogel, G. (2012). Adapting to climate change in South Africa: commercial farmers’ perception of and response to changing climate. South African Geographical Journal, 94 (2): 152-173.

Abstract: Understanding how and why farmers have responded to past climatic change is a necessary step to informing how to support current and future adaptation. This paper explores commercial farmers’ perceptions of and responses to shifting climates in the Little Brak River area along South Africa’s south coast. It aims to evaluate changes in the climate experienced in the area by comparing quantitative statistical analyses of temperature, rainfall and wind data recorded from 1967 to 2009, with qualitative historical narratives and formulated perceptions of change for the same period. This was undertaken in order to test the robustness of the narratives and to understand how farmers’ perceptions and experiences drive their climate-related decisions. Continue reading

New Article: ‘The Greening of Insurance’

Mills, E. (2012). The Greening of insurance. Science, 338 (6113): 1424-1425

Summary: Every sector of the economy telegraphs climate risks to its insurers. In turn, climate change stands as a stress test for insurance, the world’s largest industry, with U.S. $4.6 trillion in revenues, 7% of the global economy (16). Insurers publicly voiced concern about human-induced climate change four decades ago (1). I describe industry trends, activities, and promising avenues for future effort, from a synthesis of industry progress in managing climate change risk [see supplementary materials (SM)].

To download full text click here

New Book: ‘Sustainable Stellenbosch: Opening Dialogues edited by Mark Swilling, Ben Sebitosi, Ruenda Loots’

Description: Stellenbosch faces the same challenges that most South African urban areas face: rapid urbanisation, sluggish economic growth, growing inequalities, unsustainable use of natural resources, deteriorating biodiversity, social problems, unhealthy living, insecure supplies of healthy food, degrading soils, infrastructure backlogs and inadequate urban planning. Continue reading

New Article: ‘Pathways of integrated coastal management from national policy to local implementation: Enabling climate change adaptation’

Celliers, al. (2013). Pathways of integrated coastal management from national policy to local implementation: Enabling climate change adaptation. Marine Policy, 39: 72-86.

Abstract: Integrated coastal management (ICM) has been developing concomitantly with the realisation of the severity of the potential impacts of climate change. The discourse on climate change and adaptation has also included the awareness that adaptation must take place at all levels of government, particularly local government. Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the physical, social, environmental and economic environments of coastal cities and towns, and in particular on the poor and vulnerable communities within these cities and towns. The crucial role that local government can play in climate protection and building cities’ and communities’ resilience to climate change is widely recognised at the global level. This paper explores the legal and policy connexion between ICM, local government and climate change in Mozambique and South Africa, two developing countries in Africa. Continue reading

New Article: ‘Women and fisheries: Contribution to food security and local economies’

Harper, S. et al. (2013). Women and fisheries: Contribution to food security and local economies. Marine Policy, 39: 56-63.

Abstract: The substantial role of women in fisheries is overlooked in management and policy. Fortunately, it is gaining recognition despite a lack of quantitative data describing the scale of participation and contribution. This work summarizes existing knowledge on women’s participation in marine fisheries globally, and estimates their contribution in the Pacific. Continue reading

New Article: ‘Changing social contracts in climate-change adaptation’

Adger, N. et al. (2012). Changing social contract in climate-change. Nature Climate Change: 1-4. 

Abstract: Risks from extreme weather events are mediated through state, civil society and individual action1, 2. We propose evolving social contracts as a primary mechanism by which adaptation to climate change proceeds. We use a natural experiment of policy and social contexts of the UK and Ireland affected by the same meteorological event and resultant flooding in November 2009. We analyse data from policy documents and from household surveys of 356 residents in western Ireland and northwest England. Continue reading

Table of Contents Alert: International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 3 (3)

See below for some articles published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 3 (3)

On the role of government in integrated disaster risk governance—Based on practices in China
Peijun Shi
Abstract: This article outlines the roles of government in ensuring integrated disaster risk governance in China. In general, government plays important political, economic, cultural, and social roles in risk governance systems that include resource assurance, technical support, and disaster risk management. Three key aspects of governance relate to those roles: (1) Overall leadership. Politically, the government has a leading role for the overall rule and system design, including legislation, decision-making processes, and policy implementation mechanisms. Economically, the government’s primary responsibility is to strengthen resource assurance, including coordinating development and disaster reduction, and providing support for disaster reduction activities. Continue reading


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