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KwaDukuza climate change response strategy, South Africa

KwaDukuza Municipality declared its commitment to climate change action during the United Nations climate change conference (COP17-CMP7) held in Durban, South Africa.

Considering mitigation and adaptation at the same time helps avoid implementing measures that improve resilience but increase emissions.

Threatened by current and future sea level rise, flooding and drought, KwaDukuza Municipality has decided to build climate resilience (climate adaptation) as well as reducing carbon emissions (climate mitigation) into its business planning.

Our role was to produce a locally appropriate climate change strategy for the municipality, including carbon reduction as well as climate change adaptation.

We initially carried out a scoping exercise of current climate change management in KwaDukuza and local stakeholder engagement through interviews and workshops. This was to ensure our recommendations are locally appropriate.

We then fed this information into our unique climate change risk assessment process to:

  • Develop a greenhouse gas emissions profile and climate impact profile: these highlight where the main emission sources are

  • Outline strategic climate change mitigation and adaptation responses

  • Identify strategic climate change management priorities

  • Outline guiding principles in support of implementation


KwaDukuza is a diverse municipality with conflicting stakeholder needs who can feel excluded from the municipality’s decision making processes.

We ran local stakeholder workshops to capture data from a wide range of organisations and individuals. This inclusivity enabled our recommendations to be widely supported.


Our team ran a series of community events to pass on knowledge to local communities so that our work can continue.

Considering mitigation and adaptation at the same time will help avoid implementing measures that improve resilience but increase emissions, for example.

Implementing this strategy will help KwaDukuza Municipality reduce the local carbon footprint and improve its resilience to changes in temperature, rainfall, sea level rise and storm surges.

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