Jeunesse Park represents South Africa on The Climate Reality Project
The decrease in rainfall, accompanied by higher temperatures and more extreme weather events already visible in South Africa (such as the recent violent hail storms that caused severe damage to crops and floods in Port Elizabeth) food prices are spiking exacerbating food insecurity.
FEED Africa is addressing this by developing sustainable farms through training and mentoring communities to enter the green economy as organic farmers. FEEDS’s organic farms are proven to sink carbon and can also provide jobs and nutritious food at affordable prices to local communities. These farms are currently breaking the myth that organic produce “costs more” by selling at prices that are comparative to conventionally grown produce.
In addition, the question of water was raised. South Africa is a water scarce country and thus very susceptible to shortages and any changes in rainfall patterns. Jeunesse noted that a significant proportion of our surface water resources are already fully allocated, with projected figures illustrating that South Africa will run out of groundwater by 2030. Increased temperatures and changing weather is predicted to take South Africa into extreme drought conditions through this century.
An important question that Jeunesse and Quinton were asked was whether the people and the government of South Africa are relating food insecurity to climate change. Their answer was sadly, no. South Africa’s National Development Plan mentions both climate change and food security but unfortunately does not connect the two. Farmers, however, are definitely connecting the dots between climate change and our ability to produce and provide sufficient food and may become the first active responders to climate change.
South Africa is particularly vulnerable to global warming because, although the poor are only minor contributors to climate change, they are the most vulnerable and, hence will be the most impacted. The rest of Africa is possibly even worse off.
Maggie Fox, President and CEO of the Climate Reality Project, thanked Jeunesse, stating, “You have such high standards and passion for our shared mission. The panel was quite wonderful and we love working with you.”
The 24 Hours of Reality Dirty Weather Report can be seen on www.climaterealityproject.org
Click here to watch Hour 19, the Pan-Africa broadcast.