Green Light for SANBI: Approved Green Climate Fund Project Preparation Facility Application a positive step forward towards meeting Climate Change Adaptation ambitions

Author: Papama Yose

Date: 20 June 2023

South Africa has achieved a remarkable milestone in that a Project Preparation Facility (PPF) application worth USD 384,009 (~ZAR 7,692,000) was endorsed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the “Ecosystem-based Approaches for transforming smallholder farming systems that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in South Africa (EbA-Farm)” project.

The PPF is an integral component of the GCF and serves as an international financial instrument that empowers Accredited Entities (AE), which are organizations accredited by GCF, by channelling funds and resources to support the development of climate change- related projects in their respective developing countries. The PPF offers financial support through the design and preparatory stages of climate-related projects. The Facility aims to eliminate financial barriers and enables accredited entities, particularly Direct Access Entities, to develop and spearhead projects to address crossing-cutting issues posed by climate change.

In this particular instance, the PPF will support SANBI in developing the full funding proposal for the EbA-Farm project. The overarching goal of this project is to enhance the resilience of smallholder farmers in vulnerable catchments in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Limpopo using Ecosystem-based Approaches, so that they are capable of withstanding the adverse impacts of climate change. Furthermore, this project aims to upscale successful elements of the uMngeni Resilience Project, which is funded by the Adaptation Fund and set to conclude in September 2023.

To kick off the proposal development process, SANBI’s CEO, Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi, recently convened the EbA-Farm Reference Group, which brought together key National and sub-national stakeholders including the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, the South African Weather Service and provincial departments mandated with agricultural and environmental matters in the targeted provinces.

Over the next nine months, SANBI and its appointed consultant team will be engaging with a wide range of government and civil society stakeholders to enable the co-creation of

transformative actions to achieve the project’s objectives. This will culminate in a funding proposal that will need to be submitted to the GCF Board. If approved, the project will run for 7-10 years, and will address the climate vulnerability of smallholder farmers in South Africa.

For more information on the EbA-Farm project, please visit:

Nature-based Solutions for transforming smallholder farming systems that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in South Africa | Green Climate Fund


uMngeni Resilience Project hosts Farmers’ Day in celebration of Africa Day

Author: Terriann Thavar

Date: 29 May 2023

On the 25th of May 2023, the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Agriculture, Earth, and Environmental Science (UKZN-SAEES) together with the uMgungundlovu District Municipality (uMDM) hosted a ‘’Farmers’ Day” event facilitated by the uMngeni Resilience Project (URP). The URP is led by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) as South Africa’s National Implementing Entity for the Adaptation Fund.

The event took place on a beautiful sunny day at the UKZN’s Ukulinga Research Farm located in Pietermaritzburg, where attendees of the event gathered in their traditional attire in support of the theme “Africa Day’’.

Prof. Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi (UKZN) opened the event and welcomed attendees which was followed by an address from Dr Luxon Nhamo (Water Research Commission) celebrating the role of small-scale farmers, particularly women in Africa. Ms. Khethiwe Naledi Mthethwa (UKZN) then introduced the speakers, who were small-scale farmers supported by the URP or similar initiatives. Their inputs were translated from IsiZulu into English.

The purpose of the event was to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge among small- scale farmers, to advance the understanding of challenges faced by farmers, and to increase capabilities and collaboration, in support of the ongoing efforts to increase awareness and improve resilience of small-scale farmers to the impacts of climate change.

As KwaZulu-Natal has already experienced the effects of climate change, such as floods and unpredictable rains, the feedback from the speakers highlighted the need to draw on lessons learned to reduce the vulnerability of agriculture and food security to the impacts of climate change and enhance the resilience of local livelihoods.

The programme welcomed the participation of women, disabled persons and youth, catering to all voices in promoting the sharing of indigenous knowledge and gender mainstreaming. Young farmers

and early career professionals had the opportunity to present their initiatives, including innovative solutions toward climate-resilient agriculture that contribute to social, economic, and environmental stability. Representatives also expressed the challenges within farming practices and highlighted the importance of encouraging youth to become more involved in agriculture. ‘’Climate change is here to stay, and so the farming continues. Keep going, despite the challenges’’ said a farmer supported by the URP, from the Nhlazuka area of uMDM. It was highlighted that there is definitely a need to ensure that youth are included in awareness programmes, the agricultural value chain, and in rural development.

The event also brought together local and International stakeholders interested in promoting and reintroducing indigenous vegetables into small-scale farming systems, as well as showcasing climate- smart farming technologies such as mechanical tillers used for soil preparation. Attendees were given the opportunity to use the mechanical tillers, with a view of advancing the mechanisation of small- scale farming practices.

In addition, a market day was held throughout the event in which smallholder farmers had the opportunity to present their crops for sale. Attendees supported by buying vegetables and fruits such as spinach, avocado pears, butternut, sweet potato, beans and many more.

SANBI’s representative, Mr. Mike Jennings, concluded the event by expressing appreciation for the feedback received from the farmers, whilst also encouraging everyone to maintain the relationships established with one another, and with the uMDM and UKZN. “The uMngeni Resilience Project is coming to an end soon and we are very aware of the need to continue, strengthen and expand on what’s been done through the project” said Jennings.

As the uMngeni Resilience Project draws closer to the end, it is inspiring to see how vulnerable communities and small-scale farmers are working together to improve on locally led climate change adaptation responses. This certainly commemorates the theme of “Our Africa, our future’’.

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