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A Status Quo Review of Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector of the Western Cape Province

A Status Quo Review of Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector of the Western Cape Province Report submitted to the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Western Cape Department of Environmental
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A Status Quo Review of Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector of the Western Cape Province Report submitted to the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Background and context For public comment 12 April 2015 Chapter 1 Introduction 2 1. Introduction 1.1 The Project: SmartAgri First-hand experience by farming communities and scientific projections for the future strongly suggest that climate change will have significant implications for the resilience of the agricultural sector in the Western Cape of South Africa. Global market instability, rising input costs, increased pressure on natural resources, and uncertainties around land reform processes are additional realities and drivers that challenge the robustness of the Western Cape s agricultural sector. It has become evident that practical solutions are required to the additional issue of climate change, which will provide real measurable resilience to farmers and agri-businesses, with wide-ranging knock-on benefits to rural communities and natural resource management. Such solutions require framing and planning at sub-national level, and for the agricultural sector, within the co-operative governance approach of the Western Cape Provincial Government. To this end, a collaborative project between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCG: Agriculture), the Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (WCG: EADP), a consortium led by the University of Cape Town s African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI), and the agricultural sector has been launched. The project is called Smart Agriculture for Climate Resilience (SmartAgri) and runs from August 2014 to March SmartAgri: Aims and work phases SmartAgri sets out to facilitate the collective identification, analysis and prioritisation of feasible risk management approaches, effective existing and new technologies which create resilience, and implementation pathways for specific climate change risks, commodities and farming systems across the province. It also aims to identify opportunities where the agricultural sector of the Western Cape can contribute to the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as the country implements its targets in this respect. Furthermore, SmartAgri seeks to build a strong network of key stakeholders and decision-makers that can create an enabling environment for collective action and knowledge sharing over the short and long term. The overarching aim is to develop a practical and relevant climate change response framework and implementation plan specifically for the agricultural sector of the Western Cape. Chapter 1 Introduction 3 SmartAgri has been organised into three work phases as set out in Figure 1.1. Figure 1.1: The three work phases and deliverables of the SmartAgri project Phase 1: Status Quo Phase 1 will focus on a Status Quo Assessment of impacts and responses to climate change in agriculture in the Western Cape. The primary product of this phase is a Status Quo Review, the scope and objective of which is discussed in more detail at the end of this chapter. The other two products are the creation of a stakeholder database which captures the diversity of stakeholder groups that make up the sector as well as the organisations of two stakeholder workshops which initiated the in-depth participatory multi-stakeholder consultation process. Phase 2: Framework The output of Phase 2 will be a practical and locally relevant Climate Change Response Framework which builds on a strong science basis, best practice (including six adaptation/mitigation case studies) as well as intensive stakeholder engagement throughout the province in order to collate the various response strategies and technologies being used or that are potentially available to farmers to increase resilience to climate change. Phase 3: Implementation Plan Based on the Climate Change Response Framework from Phase 2, an Implementation Plan will be developed. To ensure the effective implementation of response strategies the plan is to be accompanied by a communication campaign. This communication campaign draws on the stakeholder engagement and communication plan of Phases 1 and 2 and will enhance the optimisation of communication, information sharing and learning across all relevant groups and decision-making authorities. The campaign will Chapter 1 Introduction 4 also strengthen the support and ownership of the implementation plan among government agencies, farmers, agribusinesses and support organisations. The successful execution of the plan will be further strengthened through a tailored monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan which will allow for effective management and reporting of the implementation activities. 1.3 SmartAgri: Approach and Methodology As its point of departure, SmartAgri adopts a fully participatory and collaborative approach that captures the understanding, experiences and needs of a wide range of stakeholders across the province. It takes into account the near term ( ) and the medium term ( ). This approach is, however, framed within the globalised nature of climate change and agricultural impacts. It also considers broader timeframes from recent history ( ) to end-century ( ), and the importance of agriculture not only for its immediate local actors but for the economy and security of the provincial and national population. The project is based on the understanding that in order to respond to climate change appropriately, one first needs to understand the impacts on various agricultural activities. To understand impacts one needs to be clear about risk, sensitivity to risk and local context. The risk analysis which will inform the framework and implementation plan will draw on four key considerations: climate futures; scenarios for the future of agriculture as a sector under changing conditions, including social, economic and environmental considerations; the importance of place (spatial context); and farming category (commercial, smallholder or subsistence). Individual commodities have widely differing sensitivities and opportunities under conditions of climate change. As such, a commodity-based approach will be taken to assess suitable response strategies and technologies. By taking such a holistic approach, SmartAgri will be able to identify and foster commodity- and area-specific response options that are tailored for the needs and capabilities of a range of farming categories and available resources. For the purposes of the SmartAgri project, spatial units or agro-climatic zones have been identified for the Western Cape. These were arrived at through the aggregation of the more than 80 Relatively Homogeneous Farming Areas (RHFAs) based on climatic, vegetative and productive attributes (Map 1.1, Table 1.1). They define the agricultural landscape of the province and will be used throughout this project. RHFAs are described as follows ( Homogeneous Farming Areas demarcate areas where the main agricultural activities practiced, or Chapter 1 Introduction 5 which realistically could be practiced, are common to most farm enterprises and within which the pertinent climate factors do not vary sufficiently to influence production practices and potential. These agro-ecological zones provide an excellent spatial unit for representing the specific agricultural character, current enterprises and climatic potential of a locality. Chapter 1 Introduction 6 Map 1.1: Merged Relatively Homogeneous Farming Areas (RHFAs) showing 23 agro-climatic zones as used for the SmartAgri Project. Developed by M. Wallace, WCG: Agriculture. Chapter 1 Introduction 7 Table 1.1: Summary of broad biophysical features and crop/livestock commodities for each agro-climatic zone in the Western Cape Name Main biophysical features Main crops Livestock Bokkeveld High altitude plains Pome fruit, wheat, stone fruit, Cattle between mountain ridges onions, potatoes Bo- Langkloof- Outeniqua East-west mountains and valleys near coast Pome fruit, hops, wheat, stone fruit, flowers, honeybush Cattle, sheep, goats Breede Broad river valley surrounded by mountains, fertile Wine and table grapes, wheat, stone fruit, pome fruit, olives, citrus, vegetables, flowers Broilers, egglaying chickens Cape Town- Winelands Oceanic with mountains Wine and table grapes, wheat, stone fruit, vegetables, olives, canola, citrus, flowers, berries Broilers, egglaying chickens, pigs Cederberg High elevation mountains and valleys Rooibos, wheat, citrus, wine grapes, stone fruit, vegetables, potatoes, flowers Cattle Grabouw- Villiersdorp- Franschhoek Plains with low elevation mountains Pome fruit, wine grapes, wheat, barley, stone fruit, flowers, berries GrootBrak- Plett Coastal plains Wheat, barley, vegetables, nuts, berries, flowers, honeybush Cattle, dairy, egg-laying chickens Hardeveld/ Sandveldnorth Coastal plain Wheat, wine grapes, rooibos, potatoes, vegetables Cattle, sheep Hex Interior narrow valley surrounded by high mountains Table grapes, citrus Knersvlakte Very flat plain rising gently to escarpment Wheat, wine and table grapes, rooibos Cattle, goats, sheep Koup Mostly flat plain rising gently to escarpment Olives, vegetables and vegetable seed, stone fruit Cattle, game, goats, sheep Little-Karoo Flat but surrounded by mountain ranges Wheat, vegetables, wine grapes, stone fruit, olives, nuts Cattle, dairy, goats, ostriches, pigs, sheep Chapter 1 Introduction 8 Name Main biophysical features Main crops Livestock Montagu- Barrydale Mountainous with fertile valleys Stone fruit, wheat, barley, wine grapes, pome fruit, citrus, olives, flowers, nuts Sheep MosselBay- Herbertsdale Hilly coastal plain up to mountain range Wheat, barley, canola, flowers Cattle, dairy, ostriches, pigs, sheep Nelspoort Flat with isolated hills, on escarpment Olives Cattle, goats, ostriches, sheep Olifants irrigation Narrow coastal hilly plain, dry land with fertile river valleys Citrus, wheat, wine & table grapes, rooibos, tomatoes, potatoes Piketberg Island mountain, fertile shale soils Pears, fynbos flowers, stone fruit, wheat, citrus, herbs/essential oils, wine grapes, Cape rush, rooibos Cattle, sheep Rooikaroo- Aurora Flat dry plains Wheat, canola, rooibos, table & wine grapes, potatoes, olives, flowers Cattle, sheep Rûens-east Hilly coastal plain, bordered by mountains in north, coast in south, fertile soils Wheat, barley, canola, citrus, olives, herbs/essential oils, Cape rush, berries, honeybush Cattle, dairy, ostriches, pigs, sheep Rûens-west Hilly coastal plain, bordered by mountains in north, coast in south, fertile soils Wheat, barley, canola, wine grapes, pome fruit, flowers, vegetables, olives, citrus, herbs/essential oils, berries Cattle, dairy, sheep Sandveldsouth Coastal, sandy infertile soils Wheat, potatoes, rooibos, canola, citrus, flowers Cattle, sheep Swartland Fertile, undulating bordered by mountains to the east Wheat, wine and table grapes, canola, olives, citrus, vegetables, stone fruit, berries, flowers Cattle, dairy, pigs, sheep TankwavanWyksdorp Mostly flat plain, bordered by mountains with escarpment to the north, split by the Klein Swartberge and with Langeberge to the south Wheat, stone fruit, wine & table grapes, vegetables, olives, nuts Cattle, dairy, game, goats, ostriches, pigs, sheep Chapter 1 Introduction The Status Quo report: scope and objective The Status Quo Review is a critical component of the SmartAgri project as it informs the development of the Climate Change Response Framework and Implementation Plan. The Review goes beyond the assessment of climate change responses in agriculture. It also engages in the assessment of risk and impacts of specific commodities and agroclimatic zones in order to provide a detailed understanding of the response gaps, needs and opportunities. This Review brings together the knowledge of an interdisciplinary team of scientists who have high levels of expertise in climate change and agriculture. While each chapter discusses the agricultural sector of the Western Cape from a different angle, jointly and with the assistance of spatial maps they create a holistic understanding of the agricultural sector from a systems perspective. The Review is based on in-depth desktop study and on findings from previous scientific studies undertaken by the chapter authors and others working in this field. In addition, the report is informed by the findings from two stakeholder workshops that took place in October 2014 (Appendix 1) as well as by the information generated during expert interviews in Phase 1. The Review is intended to become a practical tool that aids the decision- making of the stakeholder groups and government agencies in their day-to-day and long-term decision-making. The close collaboration and regular knowledge exchange between the chapter authors, the core project team comprised of government officials and researchers and the consultation of key representatives from the agricultural sector provided ample opportunities to test whether the data, findings and recommendations presented in the report are of value to the agricultural communities. 10 2. Background and context 2.1 Global climate change and agriculture Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing the world over the coming decades, as it can be seen as a disruptive game changer given the many concurrent economic, political and social issues. It is a highly complex problem, interacting with other global changes such as human population growth and increasingly limiting natural resources. The most recent global assessment of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5 th Assessment Report (IPCC, 2013; IPCC, 2014a; IPCC, 2014b), commonly termed the AR5, confirms that the scientific evidence points unequivocally towards continued warming and changes in rainfall patterns. It provides a comprehensive compilation of the global status quo and projections on climate change. Agriculture is highly vulnerable to these changes, and in a globalised world this means significant impacts on agriculture and food systems at multiple scales. However, climate trends and impacts will differ from place to place, even within smaller areas such as provinces and districts. This complicates our understanding of impacts, but also creates significant opportunities. The underlying drivers of climate change are well researched and relate primarily to the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities which release gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. These so-called Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) have a strong warming effect on the earth s climate, and this has been measured for over 100 years. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth s surface than any preceding decade since In the Northern Hemisphere, was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (Figure 2.1 and Figure 2.2). 11 Figure 2.1: Observed global mean combined land and ocean surface temperature anomalies, from 1850 to 2012 from three data sets. Top panel: annual mean values. Bottom panel: decadal mean values including the estimate of uncertainty for one dataset (black). Anomalies 1 are relative to the mean of A positive anomaly means that temperatures have risen during this period. Source: Adapted from IPCC (2013). 1 Anomaly in the context of climate change refers to the deviation of a variable such as temperature or rainfall from its value averaged over a reference period. 12 Observations indicate that it is most likely that 2014 is currently one of the four warmest years on record, and that it could become the warmest (WMO, 2014). It is worth noting, in the specific context of this review and the Western Cape s agricultural competitors in the Mediterranean-climate regions globally, that the European Mediterranean region, California and southern Australia have experienced serious warming, heat waves and drought this year (Figure 2.2) and during the preceding years (see also Box 9.6). Warming in the Western Cape and South America has not been nearly as great. These differentials, if they continue, could fundamentally alter the global market dynamics for produce such as wine and olives. Figure 2.2: January to October 2014 average air temperature anomalies over land and sea-surface temperature anomalies over the oceans (relative to the average) from the HadCRUT data set. A grid cell average is calculated if there is at least one month of data for each quarter: January-March, April-June, July- September, October. A positive anomaly (orange-red) means that temperatures were higher, and a negative anomaly (blue) means that temperatures were lower relative to the average over Source: WMO (2014) 13 Figure 2.3: Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) multi-model simulated time series from 1950 to 2100 for change in global annual mean surface temperature relative to Time series of projections and a measure of uncertainty (shading) are shown for scenarios RCP2.6 2 (blue) and RCP8.5 (red). Black (grey shading) is the modelled historical evolution using historical reconstructed forcings. The mean and associated uncertainties averaged over are given for all RCP scenarios as colored vertical bars. The numbers of CMIP5 models used to calculate the multi-model mean is indicated. Source: Adapted from IPCC (2013). Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21 st century is likely to exceed 1.5 C relative to 1850 to 1900 for all Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios 3 except RCP2.6. It is likely to exceed 2 C for RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, and more likely than not to exceed 2 C for RCP4.5. Warming will continue beyond 2100 under all RCP scenarios except RCP2.6. Warming will continue to exhibit interannual-todecadal variability and will not be regionally uniform. Changes in the global water cycle in response to the warming over the 21 st century will not be uniform. The contrast in precipitation between wet and dry regions and between wet and dry seasons will increase, although there may be regional exceptions. The Mediterranean-climate regions worldwide are all expected to suffer decreasing rainfall. The 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC has placed risk assessment and management at the centre of its approach (IPCC, 2014a). Risk is often represented as probability of occurrence of hazardous events or trends multiplied by the impacts if these events or trends occur. Throughout history, farmers and agriculture-dependent societies have evolved a deep understanding of climate-related risk and risk management and have adjusted to and coped with these factors as best they could. Decisions and 2 For an explanation of the Relative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) please see Box 4.1 on pg ibid 14 actions and their associated costs are influenced by perception, experience and nature of the risk, and the specific nature of the process being adapted and the assets involved (OECD, 2009). However, farming societies are now moving into uncharted territory where known patterns of climate risk and impact are shifting due to climate change. Production factors, yields and prices have become more variable and show greater extremes, often driven by local to global climate events (IPCC, 2014a). Hazards with a low historical probability but with significant consequences are becoming more frequent, for example heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding or heat stress events (Battisti and Naylor, 2009; IPCC, 2012; World Bank, 2013a). In some cases, critical thresholds may be breached, calling for transformative and possibly disruptive approaches to adaptation. Risk management is the range of strategies and instruments applied to avoid or minimise losses and to utilise opportunities (World Bank, 2013b). It also includes the building of resilience to those impacts which cannot b
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