Briefing Paper

Southern Africa’s Dryland Forests and Climate Change Adaptation

This policy brief looks at the impact climate change will have on dryland forests that are already degraded from competing land uses and from over use. To pre-empt these impacts proactive adaptation policies needs to be implemented. However this requires a clear focus on the unique attributes of the dryland forests. To maintain and enhance their contribution to climate change adaptation requires implementing policies that incorporate full-cost accounting of natural capital; investment in restoration of degraded systems; enhancing connectivity
for biodiversity responses as climate envelopes move; real-time research
and monitoring; and incentivising and enabling community-based management to build local adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change. Specific guidance on the need to deliver livelihood benefits beyond climate change adaptation is crucial.