Comments

climate change green paper

Sir/Madam

As you know, much has been spoken, written, discussed, debated and recorded about global warming and climate change, yet many still remain, or choose to remain oblivious to the perilous state of our planet. We are dangerously close to the red light of runaway global warming. So often though the focus is on fossil fuel usage and one’s carbon footprint, but little to no attention is ever drawn to one's methane hoofprint and the intense warming and enormous harm of methane and its prime emitter: the livestock industry, which contributes to at least 80% of global warming. Moreover, methane is 72 times more heat-trapping than CO2. It is a shorter-lived gas, meaning that it will leave the atmosphere much faster than CO2 - within a decade as opposed to thousands of years for CO2. Therefore, the fastest way to cool the planet is to eliminate methane by eliminating livestock breeding. www.crisis2peace.org

Furthermore, livestock farming depletes and pollutes our water resources, it threatens our land and marine eco-systems, it damages human health, it drives us to battlefields, it causes deadly diseases. In short, it is killing us and our planet. Should we fail to address these rapidly changing climate factors, we all could face a horrific future of devastating droughts, floods, epidemic famine, and more disasters; not to mention what sea level rise would do to us due to oceanic temperature increase and Arctic and Antarctic ice melt.

Instead of supporting and subsidising the livestock industry, rather encourage organic grain and vegetable farming practices which is better for human health, the environment, and the economy. It is a winner all the way. If grains are fed directly to humans instead of feeding the grains to cattle and then killing the cattle for human consumption, no one needs to go to bed hungry anymore, as there will be sufficient food for all!

We have to wake up to these facts of food and lifestyle choices. In fact, as a human race we have to stop consuming meat. It stands between us and our survival on our planet!

Wishing you courage and wisdom during these challenging times,

Sincerely,

capetowncentre

general comments

Firstly we would like to congratulate the Department on this Green paper, there has been some integration of comments since the previous draft paper and this shows commitment to involving stakeholders in the process. However we do feel there are still gaps which need addressing and the need for more synergy and inter-linkages within the paper, which we will highlight below.

We would like to emphasize, as we have before, that it is difficult to approach a cross cutting issues such as climate change within separate sectors. We feel it is critical to have more inter-linkages noted between sections in the Green paper. One could have a section after a set of sectors such as water, agriculture, biodiversity that then highlights the links between these sectors. We would also like to emphasize the need for more focus on adaptation responses over and above highlighting the impacts within key sectors.

We would like to again highlight the importance of a focus on an ecosystems approach to adaptation. This approach sees the maintenance and restoration of ecosystems and their functions /services as a critical part of building resilience of people and nature, reducing climate risk and assisting in climate change mitigation and adaptation in the land use sector. An ecosystem based approach can assist in buffering us from climate impacts such as coastal storms, floods, droughts, temperature rise etc by implementing measures such as restoring riverine vegetation, clearing alien vegetation along water courses, restoring coastal dunes in place of building “hard infrastructure” and restoring wetlands so that they can provide clean and secure water. In the process jobs can also be secured which aids in poverty alleviation and assists people to cope better in a changing climate whilst also reducing the risk of major disaster.

An integral part to addressing the ecosystem approach is including various adaptation approaches in planning and implementation of the conservation of our natural resources or “natural capital”. These include securing land under conservation stewardship, setting land aside for conservation and working with landowners to undertake sustainable land management practices where natural vegetation and ecosystems are maintained, as far as possible, between agriculture and other commercial practices. A productive land use sector is also critical for food security and socio economic development and sustainably managing land, is fundamental for this.

We would strongly urge that as much as we agree with the inclusion of both adaptation and mitigation in the response policy, a more focused adaptation framework that would align with a National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) within the UNFCCC processes is developed in conjunction/addition with this response policy. This will ensure that a focused plan of action is developed and could assist with accessing funds for implementation through the adaptation fund for specific approaches. We would also like to emphasize the need for national government to allow for leverage of funding to support provincial government and local municipalities to mainstream adaptation into planning processes such as IDP’s.

General

As one who makes an effort to attend consultitive conferences I am of the opinion that these workshops are being treated as a formallity with no serious intent. My reasoning is based on experience gained from other supposed dialogues where the speaker spent more time telling us what will happen than the public had input. One hour periods are no where near enough time to cover the said programme.