Supporting climate and biodiversity policy in South Africa

Project description

Title: Climate Support Programme – Phase IV (CSP4)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)
Country: South Africa
Lead executing agency: Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE)
Overall term: 2022 to 2026

Image 1: Solar tracker at the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research © GIZ / CSP The image shows a solar tracker at the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. CSP4 is supporting the South African Government in phasing out fossil fuels in a fair and integrative manner and making the transition to a low-carbon economy.


South Africa is among the 20 most prolific greenhouse gas emitters in the world. In particular, the coal-intensive power generation mix and industry are responsible for this.

At the same time, the country is particularly hard hit by the impacts of climate change. Extreme weather events, such as the severe drought in the Cape Town region from 2016 to 2018, are occurring more frequently. The temperature in South Africa is also expected to rise comparatively sharply. The challenge lies in delivering on South Africa’s ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through climate mitigation measures for emission reduction and adaptation to climate change.

In addition, the country – with its three global biodiversity hotspots – is crucial to preserving worldwide biodiversity (Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework). To counter the threat to biodiversity, considering biodiversity and ecosystems sufficiently in politics and planning is essential.


The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) develops and implements effective, knowledge-based climate and biodiversity measures that deliver on and increase South Africa’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Image 2: Fynbos © GIZ / CSP The image shows the fynbos, a small belt of natural shrubland or heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. It is known for its exceptional degree of biodiversity, but this is threatened by human activities.


The project is supporting DFFE to implement national climate targets in the areas of climate action, adaptation to climate change and transparency. It is also advising on ways of incorporating biodiversity in the process.

At the same time, the project is promoting innovative financing streams and supporting the preparation of projects. In doing so, it is strengthening national, subnational and private organisations and actors in implementing measures in combating climate change and safeguarding biodiversity.

In addition, it is improving dialogue on climate and biodiversity between the projects of BMUV’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) in South Africa and between other actors through networking services and knowledge management.

Last update: March 2022

Image 3: Drought © GIZ / Carolin Weinkopf The image shows dried up soil. A drought that began in 2016 brought about a water crisis in South Africa. This led to water rationing in Cape Town of 50 litres per person per day as well as economic losses in the agricultural sector and high levels of unemployment.

Additional information