Spotlight Activity: The African Climate and Development Initiative and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

Spotlight Activity: The African Climate and Development Initiative and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

In South Africa, there are numerous environmental organisations that work to minimise the impacts of climate change and strengthen South Africa’s biodiversity. These organisations are involved in different conservation and research projects that aim to reduce the degradation of the natural environment,  protect vulnerable communities and ecosystems and influence the decision making for the future plans. Some of the organisations that are exclusively involved in climate change research include African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

ACDI was established in 2011 by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) as a strategic initiative, to “facilitate and substantially extend climate change research and education at UCT with the specific context of addressing the development challenges of Africa from an African perspective”.

The ACDI recently launched a new project, “The South Africa/Flanders Climate Adaptation Research and Training Partnership”. The project aims to fill critical adaptation research gaps and enhance the capacity of South African universities and individuals, especially early career researchers, to generate and communicate research evidence for impact, and build the capacity of those tasked with climate adaptation to deliver on their mandates. It is funded by the Government of Flanders, and is a 4.5-year collaborative project between three South African universities (University of Cape Town, University of Fort Hare, and University of Venda); KLIMOS, a consortium of six Belgian universities; and the South African Adaptation Network.

The CSIR in South Africa is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. The CSIR is developing adaptation guidelines for different types of human settlements in South Africa that are at risk due to climate change. The Green Book project stems from a grant awarded by the Canadian-based International Development Research Centre (IDRC) under a cities and climate change programme.

The purpose of the project is to influence the thinking of those who plan human settlements and provides them with practical tools on how to adapt to projected climate changes. This is ongoing project and is jointly funded by the IDRC and the CSIR.

Activity Rating: *** Moving Forward

There are several climate change mitigation research centers in South Africa that are being conducted by different organizations and some of them are well funded by South African government and other international funders. South Africa arguably has the most advanced research, observation, and climate modelling program on the African continent.

Take Action

Alert Message: Send a message to CSIR and UCT complimenting them for the research contribution they are conducting to tackle climate change in South Africa.

We support and encourage CSIR & UCT to continue making  valuable contributions in  climate change adaptation and mitigation research. Climate change is a key concern within South Africa. It poses a significant threat to South Africa’s water resources, food security, health, infrastructure, as well as its ecosystem services and biodiversity. However, there is a need to increase funding that focuses on the climate change technology.

Contact the following people:

Senior Researcher: Willemien van Niekerk


Prof Mark New


Learn more

For a more comprehensive overview of the current projects of the ACDI,

See an overview of the “State of Climate Change Science and Technology”

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Africa Country Manager Tabana Mailula

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