SOUTH AFRICA SHOWCASE023assessment can also review urban infrastructure,including the capacity of pipes and channels to transmitstormwater during heavy downpours, as well asprovisions for storing large volumes of water for later use.Recommendations could include developing alternativeaccess routes and improving flood attenuation bygreening certain areas. The consequences can be far-ranging, since it was noted that maize, one of the staplefood sources in the region, could be significantly lessviable with just a two or three degree rise in annualtemperature. This research led to possible substitutessuch as sorghum, and efforts to determine its feasibilityas a crop and potential for social acceptance. InJohannesburg municipality/city of Gauteng, a number ofmodels were used to obtain a range of results. Impacts,vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies were studiedfor economic and population growth, food security andagricultural production, air quality, infrastructure/waterresources, ecosystems and health. Cape Town producedan adaptation plan that will greatly assist in integratingclimate change impacts into ongoing strategic planningand risk management activities. The work has continuedwith focus group for key sectors within the city, todetermine how new technologies and other alternativescan help ensure smarter implementation. SAFEGUARDING THE OPERATIONALPERFORMANCE OF MINES Adaptation is a very important issue for mines andother large-scale infrastructure endeavours. Mining,transportation, manufacturing and oil and gascompanies are interested in ensuring their facilities areresilient against the climate variations that are likely tooccur within the design lifespan of their assets. InSouth Africa, for example, with the possibility of moreextreme rainfall events, a tailings facility or stormwatercontrol facility to handle increased precipitation canbe planned well in advance of its construction. To helpachieve sustainability goals, better ways of disposal ofmine waste such as tailings, slag and waste rock canbe introduced. Changing the way waste products arehandled can lead to a smaller geographic footprint,particularly if several kinds of waste are disposed of inone place, leaving a more stable mass and less water totreat. Mining development in a sustainable fashionalso involves engaging residents of nearby affectedcommunities to help them understand modern miningtechniques. Capabilities to help assess, mitigate ordetermine adaptive responses are increasingly neededfor the multitude of climate-induced risks andopportunities that will markedly affect our economicand societal well-being in the 21st Century. nABOUT THE AUTHORRob Hounsome is the Leader of SustainabilityServices at Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd. Hefocuses on environmental assessment andmanagement - specifically on sustainability appraisaland management, the development of sustainabledevelopment strategies and communication, andsustainability indicators. Mr Hounsome has worked inAlgeria, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of theCongo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria,Russia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia,Zimbabwe, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. Hesits on a number of advisory panels, including SouthAfrica's Interim Certification Board for EnvironmentalAssessment Practitioners, the Board of the School ofEnvironmental Sciences at the University ofKwaZulu-Natal, and the OECD panel for theincorporation of strategic environmental assessmentinto international lending.
" "AN ENABLINGLEGAL ENVIRONMENT,UNDERPINNED BY GOOD GOVERNANCE AND RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW, IS A PREREQUISITEFOR CLIMATECHANGE ADAPTATION ANDMITIGATIONo other international negotiation processunder an environmental treaty hascreated so much debate, tension,emotion and press coverage as thenegotiations under the United Nations FrameworkConvention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have. Thequestion is why? There are many possible answers, butthe one which appears to be the most fundamental isthe fact that we might have unrealistic expectationsabout its possible outcomes. The UNFCCC has the potential to address some of the key aspects of the international response to climate change, however, it will not be expansiveenough to solve comprehensively the underlyingeconomic issues in which climate change mitigation isrooted. Anthropogenic climate change is mainly amanifestation of unsustainable consumption andproduction patterns. It is recognised that climatechange mitigation and adaptation will require radical changes in current development models. Atransition towards a global low-carbon economy isrequired. However, such a transition will havesignificant economic costs and could challenge theeconomic stability of many countries. In the SouthAfrican context, the Minister in the Presidencyresponsible for the National Planning Commission,Trevor Manuel, recently indicated that: "South Africaneeds to focus on changing its energy intensity, as wellas diversifying its sources of energy to a moresustainable mix". Governments are very conscious of the potentialeconomic impacts of taking on emissions reductioncommitments or actions under the UNFCCC or theKyoto Protocol. Many countries will only assume suchcommitments if they can see that the globalagreement creates a "level playing field" in which allcountries have proportional mitigation commitments.The political challenges related to climate change arecomplex and need to be carefully considered. It isimportant to understand that whilst the general publicwants to see governments take commitments in termsof climate change at the international level, the samegeneral public does not necessarily want suchinternational commitments to impact on the cost ofliving or doing business. It is time to be realistic about the stakes at play toaddress climate change. This is not going to be easy, thisis a major undertaking and progress so far has beenrather slow. We have not entirely grasped all possiblesolutions to the challenge of climate change. Mitigationrequires a shift in economic policy development, whichis not going to happen overnight and which is not goingMANAGINGREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS024SOUTH AFRICA SHOWCASEDR MARIE PARRAMON, SENIOR SUSTAINABILITY LEGAL CONSULTANT, IMBEWU SUSTAINABILITY LEGAL SPECIALISTS (PTY) LTD N