Climate Change

It cannot be denied that we are in the midst of a 6th Mass Extinction Event and already experiencing unprecedented climatic changes due to anthropogenic causes, most significantly the dramatic increase in greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and alarming rates of deforestation.

Southern Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change-related events, such as extreme weather including flooding and droughts, water and food insecurity, coastal damage and disease outbreaks. Unless urgent and drastic action is taken to combat climate change, we will experience major socioeconomic and ecological devastation as we are dependent on ecosystem services and biodiversity for life – the food we eat, air we breathe and water we drink.

At Wilderness Foundation Africa, combating climate change and sustaining life on Earth underpins all of our projects. From developing innovative finance mechanisms to mobilise conservation finance to protect species and ecosystems, to action on the ground through rewilding and restoration, our work takes a holistic and integrated approach to conservation and environmental sustainability through our three programmatic themes of people, species and spaces.

Environmental Advocacy

A major part of this holistic approach is through our Advocacy Programme by supporting the development of environmental legislation in South Africa and cultivating connections between climate experts, the private sector and policymakers.

Since 2020, WFA in conjunction with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) has been hosting high profile briefings and domestic and international field visits for South African Parliamentarians on a range of environmental issues affecting policy making. These have included lengthy engagements on the Just Energy Transition and the implications of climate change on South Africa, particularly the youth, and putting an end to single-use plastics. In 2022, WFA and the ICCF Group helped establish the South African Legislators for the Environment forum which acts as a nonpartisan vehicle to ensure that South Africa meets its sustainable development and conservation objectives through its legislative mandate.

Ecosystem Rewilding, Restoration and Research

The Eastern Cape is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, housing seven different biomes and a high proportion of endemic species.

Tanglewood Conservation Area is within the “Bushman’s River Corridor” in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and focuses on restoration and research of ecological infrastructure and the benefits this holds for ecosystem-based adaptation and that supports sustainable development by improving climate change resilience for both ecosystems and communities. This forms part of a broader vision to link Addo Elephant National Park to the Great Fish River Nature Reserve through the formation of connected conservation land via a series of biodiversity and nature corridors and the expansion of protected areas.

WFA Tanglewood Initiatives
WFA Tanglewood Project

Climate Resilient

Nelson Mandela Bay

As 1 of 3 sites selected by the Presidential Climate Commission, we are working towards developing a develop a climate-resilient economy in Nelson Mandela Bay by March 2025.

This initiative prioritises both adaptation and opportunity, recognising the challenges posed by climate change while also identifying pathways for positive development and revitalising communities and the economy.. Along with key stakeholders, we are developing a Climate Change Resilient Development Strategy Framework (CRDSF) which will serve as a roadmap for the city, guiding future climate-aware decisions and investments.