South Africa: Western Cape agriculture promotes sustainable resource use and management

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Western Cape Agriculture promotes sustainable resource use and management

This year, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture is commemorating World Environment Day (WED) by encouraging the agricultural sector to adopt sustainable resource use and management practices.

Climate change poses a threat to food security and employment in the agricultural sector.

For this reason, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) is committed to managing its resources more sustainably.

I am proud that the agricultural sector in the Western Cape has embraced sustainable resource use and management practices.

Research and recorded incidents have shown an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Farmers in the Central Karoo, parts of the Garden Route, Overberg, Cape Winelands and West Coast districts continue to be negatively impacted by the prolonged drought. In addition to the drought, farmers in the Western Cape have been affected by other incidents such as flash floods, forest fires, hail, locust outbreaks and animal diseases.

The WCDoA is one of the few provincial departments to have a unit dedicated to disaster risk reduction in the Western Cape. The primary focus of this program has shifted from post-disaster support and recovery to adaptation to global trends in disaster risk reduction and mitigation. The ultimate goal is to build a resilient agricultural sector that can thrive in a changing climate landscape.

Our Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) sub-program prevents and limits wasted resources by compiling frameworks and plans to move disaster risk management from a reactive to a more proactive function.

The sub-programme works closely with the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Center (PDMC) to declare a local and provincial disaster. This is done by assessing local vulnerabilities to enable farming communities to access disaster relief funding programs when needed.

We implement sustainable resource management practices in the agricultural sector to preserve our natural resources for future generations.

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