Building local partnerships with municipalities facilitates robust implementation of climate change adaptation projects

Author: Mpfunzeni Tshindane – SANBI

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is South Africa’s National Implementing Entity (NIE) of the Adaptation Fund. SANBI has two projects that are currently under implementation namely:

  • Building resilience in the greater uMngeni catchment project – (US$ 7,495,055) which aims to increase resilience of vulnerable communities in the uMgungundlovu District of KwaZulu Natal.
  • Taking adaptation to the ground: A Small Grants Facility for enabling local level responses to climate change” which is being implemented in the Mopani and Namakwa Districts in the Northern Cape and Limpopo Province – (US$2,442,682). The project seeks to provide small grants that enable vulnerable communities to directly implement local adaptation responses.

In the implementation of the Small Grants Facility project, local government officials from the Mopani and Namakwa District Municipalities have been instrumental in identifying 12 vulnerable communities and organisations that require tangible adaptation interventions.  To date, more than 1500 direct beneficiaries have benefited through the project’s investments in livelihood, agricultural and settlement interventions. In the uMngeni Resilience Project (URP), SANBI has partnered with the uMgungundlovu District Municipality. Interventions being implemented in the URP project include climate smart agriculture, climate resilient livelihoods, early warning systems, and climate proofing households and infrastructure in rural settlements.

Vho Suzan Mathipa is one of the Small Grants Facility’s project beneficiaries in the community of Mamanyuha in the Mopani District. Following the establishment of a climate smart food garden in the community, Vho Suzan said that she is happy to see vegetables growing in dry conditions following several seasons of declining yields before the project’s interventions.

Mme Lungeleni Sibiya from Swayimane area in the uMgungundlovu District is a small scale farmer who is one of the project beneficiaries in the URP. Due to changes in rainfall intensities in the area, her production levels for beans and amadumbe had been affected. Through the project’s interventions, she has been able to increase her production levels. This is helping Mrs Sibiya and other beneficiaries in the area to provide food for their families while selling their excess produce.

Both projects are in their third year of implementation. They are illustrating how the building of partnerships with municipalities and local communities empowers rural communities, and facilitates the robust and effective implementation of climate change adaptation responses.

Above Left – Vho Suzan Mathipa and Rosinah Mathipa are project beneficiaries of the Small Grants Facility project in the Mamanyuha village: Above Right – Mme Lungeleni Sibiya is a small scale farmer in the Swayimane village. She is one of many small scale farmers benefitting from the uMngeni Resilience Project.

“Through working closely with SANBI and the National Department of Environmental Affairs, the overall design and implementation of the Small Grants Facility project has empowered the Mopani District Municipality to conduct local Vulnerability Assessments and support local responses to climate change adaptation interventions. This partnership continues to inform the District’s processes of developing the next 5 year Integrated Development Plan” mentioned Mr Ntshavheni Mudau (Environment, Air Quality and Waste Management Manager in Mopani).

Please email Mpfunzeni Tshindane ( to join the NIE mailing list to receive future URP and SGF project updates

Scroll to top