Unlocking Private Sector Involvement in The Green Climate Fund Projects in South Africa: Building an Adaptation Project Pipeline
The National Business Initiative (NBI) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) are working together to develop a pipeline of adaptation projects for investment. The project is divided into three phases. Phase 1 is focussed on the capacity building of companies and other stakeholders: we have created several informative videos which provide more information on the topics of climate science, adaptation and finance for sharing internally with your organisations. Phase 2 is about building a community of practice of multiple stakeholders who can work together to identify and scale projects – click here to fill out our webform and join this community of practice. Phase 3, yet to start, is about project implementation. Watch the summary video to learn more.
NBI Adaptation Summary Video
Meet the challenges, act for a climate resilient South Africa
Adaptation Community of Practice
As part of Phase 2 of the project, SANBI and the NBI are establishing a Community of Practice supported by collaboration convenings to identify specific projects which can contribute towards a national pipeline of adaptation, biodiversity and ecosystem-based adaptation actions. Companies will need to collaborate with each other and with other stakeholders in order to develop projects that are of the sufficient scale required to have a meaningful impact and attract significant investment.
The collaboration convenings are scheduled to begin in early 2021.
Kindly complete the form below to participate in the SANBI-NBI Community of Practice collaboration convenings and to receive notifications of upcoming convenings.
Phase 1 of this work grounds us all in the latest information on the climate science, adaptation and finance. Please click the learn more button to watch the exciting videos on these topics.
Phase 2 of this work is focussed on building a community of practice specific project identification, understanding what projects are suitable for adaptation finance and can be combined to provide impact at the necessary scale. If interested, please click here to sign up to our community of practice.
Phase 3 will shortlist a few high promise projects with which the NBI & SANBI can approach the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for funding. Our ambition is to identify projects requiring US$50 million of funding.
Climate resilience requires organizations to develop adaptive capacity to respond to climate risks and impacts and to realise opportunities, including the ability to respond to transition risks and physical risks. Phase 1 focused on building the maturity of the business community to channel business expertise and identify suitable biodiversity and ecosystem-based adaptation projects in South Africa that can be implemented at scale. While companies may have existing programmes that support the goals of adaptation and biodiversity-based adaptation, they may not use this terminology internally and may therefore not be aware of other stakeholder efforts in the field.
The NBI and SANBI convened business in a series of rich capacity building sessions covering the latest information on a range of biodiversity, climate resilience, adaptation and climate finance and ecosystem-based adaptation topics.
Building the Capacity of South African Business to Adapt to a Rapidly Changing World
The NBI and SANBI hosted 4 events: one on climate change science, one on climate finance, one on adaptation finance specifically and one (hosted online because of Covid-19) on biodiversity and ecosystem-based adaptation. We recommend watching the videos in sequence, but you can jump around depending on your particular interests.
Event 1: An Update on the Latest Climate Science with Professor Bob Scholes and Professor Francois Engelbrecht
These videos provide a comprehensive update on the status of the latest climate science with two of South Africa’s leading climate scientists:
The Impacts of Climate Change:
“Hotter than ever in human experience – not just in terms of the instrumental records. The last time we had temperatures like this was somewhere around 3 million years ago.” ~Professor Bob Scholes (Systems Ecologist at the Global Change Institute- Wits)
Watch this video to see internationally renowned systems ecologist, Professor Bob Scholes, explain the latest climate science and why South Africa cannot afford the financial consequences of the impacts of climate change on our biodiversity and the broader economy.
Why Southern Africa is a Climate Change Hotspot:
“Across our region [Southern Africa]: ALL locations recorded the warmest summer on record. We need to think seriously, broadly and ambitiously about what adaptation projects we can pursue to reduce vulnerability.” ~ Professor Francois Engelbrecht (Climatologist at the Global Change Institute – Wits)
Watch this video to see the eminent Climatologist, Professor Francois Engelbrecht, provide an overview of the latest available evidence on projected climate change and gain insights into the regional impacts and implications of climate change for southern Africa.
Event 2: An Introduction to and the State of Climate Finance
“There is plenty of money, just not the right projects.” Find out how climate finance is structured and how to access it in the following series of videos. This shortage of projects is particularly acute in adaptation, and even more so when considering the need for biodiversity-based adaptation.
Adaptation Finance Overview:
“We [South Africa]: are an accredited entity of two global climate funds – the Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund. This means we are able to access these funds as a national entity.” ~ Dr. Mandy Barnett (Chief Director- Adaptation Policy & Resourcing at SANBI)
In this video, Dr. Mandy Barnett (SANBI), explains why SANBI can directly access grant-based funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to implement local adaptation projects, and the benefits for South Africa of having a national GCF direct access entity.
Global Climate Finance Landscape and Domestic Links:
“There is a lot of money out there, but no one is able to access that money. The question is why aren’t you able to access that money?” ~ Zaheer Fakir (Chief Director-International Relations & Governance at the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF)
Zaheer Fakir (DEFF) explains why attracting international climate funds requires transformational and game-changing local projects and why this is particularly important for the private sector, who have the advantage of being able to implement or to invest in a range of adaptation specific initiatives, often at their fingertips.
Bridging the Adaptation Finance Gap (Panel Discussion):
“That is one of my key messages: All finance is trying to find a home and to be welcome. You need to figure out how to welcome that finance.” ~ Malango Mughogho (Managing Director- ZeniZeni Sustainable Finance)
Accessing Green Climate Fund (GCF) funding, among others, for adaptation projects requires the right combination of scale, impact investment and bankability Watch this video to gain insights from our expert panel on how to ‘welcome’ climate finance and find it a home in the adaptation space. Panel includes: Malango Mughogho (ZeniZeni Sustainable Finance), Zaheer Fakir (DEFF), Rest Kanju (Indalo Inclusive & SEED South Africa) and Thaven Naidoo (PFAN).
Event 3: Adaptation Finance Examples and Best Practice
Accessing adaptation finance requires understanding the nuances and complexities of what projects are funded; and why? Join us on a journey through the finance examples and best practice in this next series of videos.
Driving Home Adaptation:
“Every time I talk about adaptation, I enhance my ambition. Now I want to do US$150 million projects. We are going to do stuff that really is going to shift the needle and change things on adaptation.” ~ Steve Nicholls (Head: Environmental Sustainability at the NBI)
Watch this video to find out why the NBI and SANBI are “Building an Adaptation Project Pipeline” and why the required level of climate ambition and scale of the solutions needed is increasing.
Adaptation and Resilience, a Policy Perspective:
“Africa is warming much faster than any other continent in the world. This alone starts to tell you about the greater frequency of extreme events.” ~ Tlou Ramaru (Chief Director – Climate Change Adaptation at DEFF)
Southern Africa is vulnerable to increasingly frequent and more intense natural disasters, including flood, drought and fire events. In this video, Tlou Ramaru (DEFF) shares insights into the Government’s adaptation focal areas from a policy, planning and governance perspective.
Climate Smart and Resilient Agriculture
“Climate smart and resilient agriculture can reduce our carbon footprint, draw-down carbon & cool the earth by regenerating the natural bio-system.” ~Dr Hendrik Smith (Conservation Agriculture Facilitator, Grain SA)
Some of the most promising climate change solutions lie beneath are feet. Watch Dr Henrik Smith (Grain SA) explain how climate proofing South Africa’s agricultural systems and restoring soil health can achieve significant improvements in natural resource status and quality, allowing sustained crop production intensification.
Eskom’s Climate Adaption and Resilience Journey (Panel Discussion):
“If there is a disaster, what do we normally do as a business? Now, we are adding another layer in terms of a risk perspective. Those risks that you have been planning for, or ensured for, we now see them worsening.” ~ Dr. Lwandle Mqadi (Energy Transitions, Climate Impact, Risk Analysis & Sustainable Development at Eskom)
The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world unprepared. With climate change – we have the opportunity to plan. Dr Mqadi explains how Eskom identifies climate change as a risk to their infrastructural assets, resulting in a strong focus on building their risk and resilience systems.
Data to Inform Climate Action (Panel Discussion):
“I’m fascinated by how we manage climate scenarios when we don’t have all the right data or information available to inform our decision making?” ~Steve Nicholls (Head: Environmental Sustainability at the NBI)
Watch this video to understand the climate action journeys of major South African companies. Hear our panel of experts chart their own organisational journeys, particularly in the absence of key data for responding to climate change. Panel includes: Dr Lwandle Mqadi (Eskom); Sherman Indhul (Transnet) and Mike Goldblatt (Metier Private Equity).
Metier’s Climate Adaption and Resilience Journey (Panel Discussion):
“If you want to crowd in the private sector, especially if you want to crowd in the private sector in time, then you need to be more active about it, like we have seen in the agricultural sector. The farmers are moving in that direction, but if you want to move them faster, then you need incentives.” ~ Mike Goldblatt (Executive: Sustainable Capital team, Metier Private Equity).
What is the role of the financial sector in driving planned, as opposed to autonomous, adaptation? Watch this video to find out about the importance of private equity in adaptation funding from Metier’s Mike Goldblatt.
Adaptation Project Development Best Practice (Panel Discussion):
“My observation is that there is no finance for climate change adaptation for infrastructure, there is finance for infrastructure, but not finance to build climate resilient infrastructure. ~Sherman Indhul (Executive Manager: Corporate Sustainability, Transnet).
In this fascinating video, find out from Dr Lwandle Mqadi and Sherman Indul how Eskom and Transnet are being affected by climate change, including disruptions to their key operations due to extreme weather events. With these events set to increase with climate change, learn the adaptation best practice lessons from industry.
Transnet’s Climate Resilience Journey (Panel Discussion):
It is an intensity issue, intensity of wind speed and frequency. Similar issue on the wave height, you are not experiencing sea-level rise as such in the short-term, but you are experiencing higher waves.” ~Sherman Indhul (Executive Manager: Corporate Sustainability, Transnet).
What do changes in wave height and wind speed mean for ports and shipping? Watch this video to find out as Transnet’s Sherman Indhul uncovers the journey that Transnet has taken to build their climate resilience, including managing the risks to their infrastructure.
Event 4: The Role of Biodiversity and Ecosystem-Based Finance
Innovative eco-system based initiatives not only increase biodiversity, they can often save time, money and reduce environmental impact. Find out about some of South Africa’s most innovative climate change adaptation solutions in this next series of videos.
Welcome and Recap of Events:
“Our ambition has changed over time; we have gone from thinking about a few smaller adaptation projects to really wanted to develop some big $150 million projects. Let us do this right by finding great partnerships and projects that we can at scale and invest wholesale in the country.” ~ Steve Nicholls (Head: Environmental Sustainability at the NBI)
Watch this video to bring yourself up to speed with the developments along the journey so far that have brought us to the fourth and final event in this series with the NBI’s Steve Nicholls and Reitumetse Molotsoane.
Overview of the Ecosystem-based Adaptation in SA:
“In South Africa, EbA has been identified as an important component of the country’s overall climate change adaptation response, as indicated in the National Climate Change Response Plan.” ~Barney Kgope, Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF).
South Africa’s rich biodiversity coupled with its developing country status, positions Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) as an ideal part of the country’s development agenda. Watch this next video to understand from Barney Kgope (DEFF) how and why South Africa is prioritizing biodiversity and ecosystem-based adaptation.
Entry Points for Mainstream Ecosystem Adaptation:
“Despite our significant progression as a country with regard to EbA, we have not really been monitoring the impacts of projects.” ~Dr Tony Knowles, The Cirrus Group
Dr Tony Knowles (Cirrus Group) explores opportunities for business to implement Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in South Africa. Watch this video to learn more about a variety of case studies where EbA is helping to enhance climate resilience, while contributing to community development and enhancing natural capital.
Economic Development that Values Nature:
“This presentation will give you an understanding of how Ecosystem-based adaptation looks on the ground, where we are working to support eco-systems, to support people and to really development sustainable, flourishing green economies.” ~ Julie Levin (Executive Director, Conservation South Africa)
Over-utilisation of rangelands is the second highest driver of habitat loss in our terrestrial ecosystems. Find out from Julie Levin how Conservation South Africa’s Ecosystem- based Adaptation (EbA) approach to livestock management using viable business models promotes regional economic development that values nature.
Private Sector Investment in Eco-Restoration:
“Thicket restoration would cost US$150 million over a 5-year period, but over 50 years, this amount is estimated to yield a 10% return on investment.” Jessica Allen (Climate Change & Environmental Consultant, C4 EcoSolutions)
Jessica Allen of C4 EcoSolutions explores the return on investment for restoration of more than a million hectares of Albany Thicket in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Watch this video to understand the private sector opportunities to invest in eco-restoration at scale and need for innovative funding instruments to create jobs.
Farming for the Future:
“We developed a system to ensure continuous improvement of suppliers through the application of an independently audited system to measure and report on farmer’s performance across a variety of performance areas.” ~Feroz Koor, (Group Head of Sustainability, Woolworths)
Watch this video to hear from Woolworth’s Feroz Koor how, for the same price as conventionally farmed fresh produce, farmers can improve soil and water quality, promote water saving, enhance biodiversity and reduce energy use all while producing delicious, high-quality produce.
Marine Eco-Based Solutions:
“There should be an openness to hybrid systems, there are times when you may look at combining nature based and engineered solutions, sometimes that’s the best route to go.” ~Alex Benkenstein, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
Marine EbA is far more than just mangrove systems, watch this video with Alex Benkenstein (SAIIA) to understand the important role marine EbA plays in building climate resilience, as well as the value of combining solutions.
Private Sector Opportunities for Adaptation (Panel Discussion):
“I am hoping that in the next decade we will start to see some fairly large-scale [adaptation] projects that do incorporate carbon credits” ~Jessica Allen (C4 EcoSolutions)
What are the key private sector opportunities for adaptation in South Africa? Watch this video to understand from our panel of experts just how immense the private sector opportunities are for adaptation. The panel includes:Tony Knowles (Cirrus); Barney Kgope (DEFF); Julia Levin (Conservation South Africa); Jessica Allen (C4 EcoSolutions); Feroz Koor (Woolworths) and Alex Benkenstein (SAIIA).
A thriving natural environment is fundamental to adaptation in every human enterprise. The natural environment is humanity’s first line of defence against floods, droughts, heat waves and hurricanes. A truly resilient business also works to protect nature and achieve resilient communities.
Business climate resilience focuses on understanding, assessing and acting – based on physical and transition climate-related risks.
Phase 2 of this SANBI-NBI partnership aims to identify specific projects that can contribute towards a national pipeline of adaptation, biodiversity and ecosystem-based adaptation actions, convening companies who have adaptation-relevant projects into a community of practice to encourage partnerships to scale up projects.
Companies need to adopt resilience strategies that include ambitious measures to adapt to climate change impacts, as well as steps to strategically transform so that they can benefit from new opportunities and address unprecedented risk.
Phase 3 will shortlist high promise projects for incubation and further development. SANBI and the NBI will provide support to companies in writing proposals for GCF funding for biodiversity and ecosystem-based adaptation projects.
We have created a series of video highlights from the live events. These are short videos with key messages, which can be used in internal comms campaigns:
Find the social media package for Event 1: An Update on the Latest Climate Science (Highlights), here.
Find the social media package for Event 2: An introduction to and the State of Climate Finance (Highlights), here.
Find the social media package for Event 3: Adaptation Finance Examples and Best Practice (Highlights), here.