Eastern Cape launch of WWF climate resilience work with coastal communities

On the 30th of March 2021, representatives from various government departments, the private sector, NGO’s and members of the Hamburg community participated in the inception workshop to mark the formal launching of the project titled “building resilience of coastal communities, ecosystems and small-scale fishers’’. Launched at WWF’s new Hamburg Office in the Eastern Cape, the project funded by the Government of Flanders, will be jointly implemented by WWF-SA, ABALOBI and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The workshop served as a platform for the project partners to announce their plans and invite inputs from members of the Hamburg community and key stakeholders on which the success of this project will depend. A detailed implementation plan which will soon be produced by the project’s technical working team.

A total number of 44 people filled the WWF office while 24 others participated virtually in order to observe the protocols and regulations of COVID-19. More than 20 organisations were presented including representatives from Ngqushwa Local Municipality, Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment (DFFE), Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA), Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT), Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), South African National Parks (SANParks), Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) , Indalo Inclusive and research institutions such as Rhodes University, University of Fort Hare, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) and South African Environment Observation Network (SAEON).

The much needed project aims at building climate resilience of coastal communities, ecosystems and small-scale fishers through the implementation of community and ecosystem-based adaptation activities (EBAs) and the diversification of livelihoods. In addition to this, a community-based citizen science research project will also be rolled out with these communities as well as the ABALOBI mobile phone applications. The project will take place in the Kogelberg region (Western Cape) and Hamburg (Eastern Cape) and we excited to embark on this journey! For more information on the project, feel to contact Junaid Francis at jfrancis@wwf.org.za.

Nangamso Thole, Community Liaison Officer – WWF South Africa Marine Programme