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Mapping South African farming sector vulnerability to climate change and variability: A subnational assessment

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  • Gbetibouo, Glwadys Aymone
  • Ringler, Claudia

Abstract

"This paper analyzes the vulnerability of South African farmers to climate change and variability by developing a vulnerability index and comparing vulnerability indicators across the nine provinces of the country. Nineteen environmental and socio-economic indicators are identified to reflect the three components of vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. The results of the study show that the region's most vulnerable to climate change and variability also have a higher capacity to adapt to climate change. Furthermore, vulnerability to climate change and variability is intrinsically linked with social and economic development. The Western Cape and Gauteng provinces, which have high levels of infrastructure development, high literacy rates, and low shares of agriculture in total GDP, are relatively low on the vulnerability index. In contrast, the highly vulnerable regions of Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape are characterized by densely populated rural areas, large numbers of small-scale farmers, high dependency on rainfed agriculture and high land degradation. These large differences in the extent of vulnerability among provinces suggest that policy makers should develop region-specific policies and address climate change at the local level." from authors' abstract

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 885.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:885

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Keywords: Climate change; Agriculture; Vulnerability; Adaptive capacity; Exposure; Sensitivity; Climate variability;

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  1. Moser, Caroline O. N., 1998. "The asset vulnerability framework: Reassessing urban poverty reduction strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-19, January.
  2. Susan L. Cutter & Bryan J. Boruff & W. Lynn Shirley, 2003. "Social Vulnerability to Environmental Hazards," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(2), pages 242-261.
  3. Erasmus, Barend & van Jaarsveld, Albert & van Zyl, Johan & Vink, Nick, 2000. "The effects of climate change on the farm sector in the Western Cape," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 39(4), December.
  4. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
  5. W. Adger & P. Kelly, 1999. "Social Vulnerability to Climate Change and the Architecture of Entitlements," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 253-266, September.
  6. Deressa, T. & Hassan, Rashid M. & Poonyth, Daneswar, 2005. "Measuring the impact of climate change on South African agriculture: The case of sugar-cane growing regions," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 44(4), December.
  7. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "The "Stern Review" on the Economics of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 12741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Zhang, Xiaobo & Rockmore, Marc & Chamberlin, Jordan, 2007. "A typology for vulnerability and agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 734, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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