The Green Book is South Africa’s online planning support tool to help South Africa’s cities and towns in their long-term planning and to build resilience and adapt to climate change. It is an interactive site that allows users to explore and access information that is drawn from scientific evidence and research.
The site is forward-looking and projects what South Africa will likely face in 2050 in terms of population growth and shifts, anticipated impacts of climate change under a low and high emissions scenario, climate hazards and its impact on its economy and other sectors.
The Green Book is structured into three main components:
- Our Story Maps,
- Municipal Risk Profile tool, and
- Climate Adaptation action.
The first component, Our Story Maps, is a series of 11 interactive national story maps that provides users with an overview of scientific research findings and evidence of the green book project on each of these 11 story maps. These story maps explain the vulnerabilities of African municipalities and settlements, anticipated population growth, projected climate change, extreme weather hazard, and its impacts on South Africa’s economy, agriculture, water resource, and other sectors.
The second component is the Municipal Risk Profile tool that provides a climate risk profile of each municipality and shows the climate risk that cities are likely to face by 2050. The interactive map of South Africa allows users to explore and select the municipality and access information on vulnerabilities, population projections, exposures to climate hazards, and impacts of climate change on critical resources of the municipalities.
The third component is the Climate adaptation action tool, an interactive platform that provides a range of planning and actions tools to support adaptation planning in South Africa’s local municipalities. The range of actions here is relevant to a town of city and sometimes specific when it relates to land use and development control.
Climate adaptation resources in the Green Book are linked with the mandate of the local government, suitable for urban areas, associated with local planning function, and provides economic, social and environmental benefit.
The Green Book is an excellent example of how municipalities and governments can use a website platform to assist in long-term planning and climate adaptation. Other countries can also benefit from using a similar online tool to help in climate adaptation planning.
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