Knowledge Sharing for Climate Change Adaption

The Regional Climate Change Programme

The Regional Climate Change Programme

Associated Organization: OneWorld Sustainable Investments

Southern Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change in the world. It frequently experiences weather changes and extreme events which set off other events, with consequences and dire implications that affect sectors of the economy. The RCCP is a set of programmatic responses to the challenges climate change presents in the development context, which collectively seek to enable transboundary adaptation to climate change, with equitable access to climate funding, in Africa.

Themes: Agriculture, fisheries and food security, Crosscutting Issues, Energy, Forestry, Gender, Health, International climate negotiations, Poverty and vulnerability, Water

Regions: Southern Africa

Countries: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

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The Regional Climate Change Programme (RCCP) was established to help Southern Africa adapt to climate change across political borders, while simultaneously respecting the sovereignty of individual countries when planning adaptation measures.

In the interests of making available accurate climate science for the Southern African region, we ask you kindly to complete this survey. Please read the Risk & Vulnerability Mapping in Southern Africa: Status Quo (2008) and Future (2050) report and then take the time to evaluate it and the findings contained in it.

The RCCP Purpose: To enable transboundary adaptation to climate change, with equitable access to climate funding, in Southern Africa.

While it is crucial for the region to prepare for future climate change impacts, it is no less important that it gains greater access to the international climate funding that becomes available each year. And while developing countries on their own stand little chance of being heard at international negotiations, a united region can make its voice heard. The RCCP contributes towards Southern Africa’s climate change and development goals by facilitating a platform for Southern African negotiators to actively participate in the Africa negotiators group. This in turn has a greater united impact on the global negotiating platform.

Guiding principles

In doing so, the RCCP draws upon the following:

  • indigenous and local science, knowledge and practice, and integrated analysis
  • adaptive management (learning by doing)
  • science-policy-governance-finance dialogue
  • appropriate regional climate change partnerships
  • clear, succinct, targeted communications.



The RCCP aims to contribute to the achievement of Southern Africa’s climate change adaptation needs, socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals. By synthesising the relevant climate change science, developing strategic research and strengthening science-policy-governance-finance dialogue, the RCCP will build an evidence base for appropriate transboundary responses, strengthen the region’s voice on international platforms, and enhance its ability to access the necessary finance for effective climate change adaptation.

Key objectives of the RCCP are to:

  • Examine the possible climate change responses and build the evidence base. The region’s relatively undiversified economies are dependent on rain-fed agriculture, and the capacity and to respond to the additional stresses of climate change is already low.
  • Strengthen the region’s ability to access climate finance and to establish regional and national sources of finance. The region’s capacity to absorb climate finance is low: there is thus a need to build and strengthen regional science-policy-institutional and finance platforms.
  • Facilitate the strengthening of the region’s voice, through regional integration, in the international climate change platforms. A Southern African voice is critically needed in negotiations about how the climate finance architecture is to evolve, the agenda for adaptation, and what the developed and developing world decide to do about limiting global emissions.
  • Strengthen the region’s ability to domesticate international negotiation outcomes, to ensure that these outcomes are integrated into regional development policies, strategies and related activities.


To achieve its objectives, the RCCP is involved in a number of initiatives. These include:

  • identifying the subregions most vulnerable to climate change in Southern Africa, and building the related evidence base, drawing upon local science
  • consolidating important relationships and aligning RCCP interventions with Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and other regionally relevant organisations
  • rendering to key SADC member states and negotiation groups the necessary technical support and regional facilitation during international negotiations
  • Providing a trustworthy source of information on multilateral negotiations on climate change. This is particularly important in relation to the means through which adaptation is to be implemented (finance, technology transfer, governance and capacity building).


To enable Southern Africa to develop regional responses to climate change, the RCCP is:

  • building the adaptive capacity and resilience needed to respond to climate risks
  • increasing the region’s climate finance absorptive capacity, and
  • influencing international climate change negotiations and outcomes in the region.

By helping coordinate the integration of key regional platforms and by providing locally relevant research, the RCCP is able to:

  • synthesise regionally relevant science as part of the evidence base for international, regional and national discussion
  • develop strategic research that can be applied and assimilated into coherent decision making and action
  • strengthen the science-policy-governance-finance dialogue in Southern Africa
  • help build appropriate governance structures and institutional arrangements to support adaptation actions and increase the region’s ability to access and absorb climate funds
  • strengthen regional resources needed to influence international climate change responses
  • support linkages that facilitate dialogue between sectors so that information and planning are not restricted to the “environmental” or another particular sector but integrate with other policies (such as industrial development) that are not automatically seen as vulnerable to climate change
  • enable cross-sectoral integration between the private sector, government and communities where needed
  • enable the development of issues-based climate champions in the region that will carry the climate change process forward: these are African leaders and/or countries in the region that are well positioned to take a lead in the region and internationally on climate change related issues or responses.


Output 1: Integrated scientific analysis available to improve adaptive management (30%)

Output 2: Local knowledge and Practice is validated and used in decision-making (15%)

Output 3: Viable, stakeholder-led, transboundary-relevant adaptation proposals presented to funders (15%)

Output 4: Transboundary relationships for responding to climate change and influencing climate policy are strengthened (30%)

 What needs to be done?

Regional relationships and partnerships

The region’s effective response to climate change requires long-term commitment and strong regional integration. Strengthened relationships and appropriate partnerships in the region will enable the science-policy-governance-finance dialogue.

The RCCP Consortium

The OneWorld-led RCCP Consortium comprises experts and research institutions needed to provide technical support and scientific research capability to the region.

Subregional programme nodes

The RCCP is building a network of programme nodes in regional research institutions, government and regional agencies to ensure that regional scientific and dissemination of scientific research capacity is sustainably built.

Information clearinghouse

The ICH is established and has a growing presence in the region. The strategy now is to embed the facility as the central repository for quality information on regional and international climate change issues and science to the region.

Funding, governance and management

The RCCP is funded by the UK Department For International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for a period of five years, commencing March 2009.  The programme is governed by a regionally representative Advisory Board which includes representation from the funders, the implementation partners, the SADC Secretariat, and the region’s most vulnerable sectors. The Programme is managed by OneWorld Sustainable Investments (Pty) Ltd. The OneWorld Consortium is the implementation partner