GRDM’s Climate Change Team visits the Klein Karoo Sustainable Dry lands Permaculture Project

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is committed to investigating adaptive climate change initiatives and successes.

It is for this reason that the climate change team late last year visited the Berg-en-Dal Farm in Ladismith, which is the home of the Klein Karoo Sustainable Drylands Permaculture Project (KKSDPP), founded in 1999. During the visit, the municipality’s climate change team was taken on an interactive and eye-opening tour by Ms. Alex Kruger, who passionately explained each step of their many diverse examples of sustainable climate change adaptation and mitigation examples. The KKSDPP provides a dynamic training environment on the concept of permaculture and its positive impacts on environmental sustainability within an uncertain future. The project team is providing working examples of a wide range of natural building approaches, waste and water recycling, sustainable energy generation and food production, amongst others, to illustrate climate change adaptation and mitigation as part of a sensitive yet dynamic socio-ecological system.

The severe and disastrous impacts of climate change calls for Municipalities to think differently about adaptation. Climate change is no longer a hypothetical future possibility, but an inescapable fact of everyday life. As climatologists become more certain about human effects on global atmospheric composition and their consequences, extreme weather events become ever more common and slower trends such as sea level rises and changes in seasonal weather patterns continue. The most recent summary report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reaches some stark conclusions. It predicts, with high levels of certainty, continued rises in global mean surface temperatures if greenhouse gas emissions are not abated, and alongside this, greater and more frequent extremes of heat, global increases in precipitation, and continued loss of Arctic sea ice. It also suggests that continued changes in many aspects of global climate systems are likely even if temperatures stabilise, and raises the possibility of abrupt shifts in some of these. As our understanding of the significance of climate change deepens, the view that responses will involve a transformation in human relationships with nature becomes increasingly widespread. It is an invitation to re-assess humanity’s place in the world, and to transform global society in ways that allow our continued survival. The concept of permaculture originated in just such a re-assessment, and has become a significant impetus for such a transformation.

Permaculture is the conscious design of human living environments that are reflections of the ecological principle that underlies nature. It includes a diversity of concepts, knowledge, strategies, tools, techniques and practices that are reshaping the world and providing compelling visions of what is possible. The permaculture principles are clear examples of how we can restructure, regenerate, restore, and renew, as part of the necessary tools for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

The KKSDPP is offering a wide diversity of services, courses, events and consultations to the public. They form a dynamic component of a network of permaculture and alternative living practitioners and organisations that spans the globe. The Garden Route District municipality appreciated this new and refreshing view of climate change adaptation – one that is exciting, inspiring, and engaging, and one that calls on us to step up to the adaptive challenge of climate change adaptation.

For more information on the KKSDPP or their various courses and initiatives on offer, please contact Ms Alex Kruger at kruger.alex@gmail.com or 072 241 1514.  

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