About this Course
5.0
4 ratings
This course explores why climate change adaptation is important in the African context. Africa is considered one to be one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change. Historically, climate-related hazards such as drought, flooding, pest and disease outbreaks, coastal storms and heat waves have had devastating impacts on people and the environment in which they live. Often the damage knocks back progress that has been made in social and economic development, slowing down the achievement of development goals. Climate models suggest that many of these climatic hazards will intensify as the global climate warms. Building resilience to climate risks, through adaptation, is critically important for future development in Africa. The course will examine adaptation in theory and in practice, through a focus on four sectors that are critically important for climate resilient development in Africa: Water Security, Agriculture and Food Security, Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services and Resilient Cities....
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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 3-4 hours of study/week

Approx. 18 hours to complete
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English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 3-4 hours of study/week

Approx. 18 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Climate, Vulnerability and Development in Africa

To start the course, we explore the linkages between social and economic development in Africa and climate change. We look at the anticipated changes in the future climate of the region and how this could impact on the development trajectory. I cover both contemporary climate risks and future climate change and how those interact with development. I also introduce the key concepts around climate adaptation that this course in based on. ...
Reading
15 videos (Total 92 min), 4 readings, 3 quizzes
Video15 videos
Africa's Human Development Challenge5m
In conversation with Irene Kunamwene: A Namibian case study8m
How Climate Risks Impact on Development7m
The Adaptation Deficit5m
Adaptation, Resilience, Maladaptation and Vulnerability1m
What is Adaptation?5m
Resilience and Maladaptation4m
Unpacking Vulnerability7m
In conversation with Irene Kunamwene: Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities7m
In Conversation with Gina Ziervogel: Climate Vulnerability11m
Possible Global Scale Changes in Climate6m
Local Scale Climate Change in Africa6m
Local Scale Climate Change Scenarios3m
In conversation with Irene Kunamwene: Adaptive capacity in Namibian households7m
Reading4 readings
Meet the course team10m
African cases of climate adaptation10m
How the course works10m
Additional resources20m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Development Challenges and Climate Risks10m
Adaptation, Resilience, Vulnerability and Maladaptation10m
Week 1: Climate, Vulnerability and Development15m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Water Security

We'll start by examining the nature of risks to water security and the approaches to adaptation to changes in water supply - whether it is dealing with greater scarcity or more extreme weather events such as flooding. Water security is a key factor in social and economic development. Responding involves investigating climate adaptation strategies, especially at a regional level, not just at a global scale. The cases this week, presented by experts working on water security issues, are from Lesotho and South Africa. ...
Reading
13 videos (Total 76 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
Video13 videos
Blue, Green, Grey Water4m
Water Security, Water Scarcity and the Adaptation Deficit6m
Climate Changes in Water Scarcity4m
Impacts of Climate Change on Water Security2m
Including Climate in Water Resource Planning2m
Soft Adaptation - Working with Nature8m
Hard Adaptation - Small Scale Options7m
Hard Adaptation for Large Water Ecosystems4m
Demand Management7m
Lesotho: Water and Social Justice - George Barrett6m
In conversation with Kevin Winter: Water-sensitive cities13m
Week 2 Summary1m
Reading2 readings
Water security cases10m
Resources10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Water Security Risks10m
Water scarcity adaptation2m
Week 2: Water Security Risks and Adaptations15m

3

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Agriculture and Food Security

We’ll start off looking at the nature of agriculture across regions in Africa and the current situation of food security. Eradicating poverty through creating food security is a key sustainable development goal. We will analyse food security in terms of availability, access and utilisation - and how each of these aspects can be affected by climate change. I’ll be providing some information about the projected impacts of climate change on agriculture before moving onto look at adaptative strategies. The cases this week offer a rich variety of contextual examples from smart agriculture in Mauritius to changes being made by Namibian livestock farmers. ...
Reading
14 videos (Total 99 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
Video14 videos
Ways that Climate Impacts on Agricultural Yields9m
Possible Impacts on Agriculture in Africa5m
Adaptation by Closing Yield Gaps in Africa4m
Conservation Agriculture6m
Seed Improvement3m
Bringing Adaptation into Farm Extension Services5m
Irrigation for Increased Food Production4m
Financial Resources for farm adaptation5m
Long Term Adaptation in Agriculture10m
Mauritius: Climate-Smart Agriculture - Sunita Facknath11m
Namibia: Livestock Farmers and Climate Adaptations - Simon Angombe6m
In conversation with Admire Nyamwanza: Zimbabwe rural farmers18m
Week 3 Summary1m
Reading2 readings
Our cases in context10m
Resources10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Agriculture and food security risks2m
Agriculture and Food Security Adaptations2m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services

This week we’ll examine the mechanisms which make ecosystems vulnerable to climate change and other human-driven impacts. Ecosystems and the services they provide play a significant role for the livelihoods of people living across Africa. We will also look at the observed and projected impacts of the changing climate. We look at adaptation strategies from Tanzania as cases that illustrate some of the important issues. ...
Reading
11 videos (Total 95 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
Video11 videos
Ecosystem Services8m
Vulnerability of Ecosystems to Climate8m
Vulnerability of Ecosystems to Non-Climatic Drivers10m
Recent Changes in African Ecosystems7m
Future Impacts on Ecosytems9m
Natural Adaptation of Ecosystems to climate change7m
Human assisted adaptation of ecosystems - Part 17m
Human assisted adaptation of ecosystems - Part 25m
Tanzania: Forest Ecosystems Adaptation Strategies - Pantaleo Munishi8m
In conversation with George Sekonya: Mopane worms resources12m
Reading2 readings
Cases in context10m
Resources10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Ecosystems Risksm
Ecosystems Impacts and Adaptationsm
Week 4: Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services15m

Instructor

Mark New

Director
African Climate Development Initiative (ACDI)

About University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town is the oldest university in South Africa and is one of the leading research universities on the African continent. UCT has over 25 000 students, of whom 30% are postgraduate students. We offer degrees in six faculties: Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Science. We pride ourself on our diverse student body, which reflects the many cultures and backgrounds of the region. We welcome international students and are currently home to thousands of international students from over 100 countries. UCT has a tradition of academic excellence that is respected world-wide and is privileged to have more than 30 A-rated researchers on our staff, all of whom are recognised as world leaders in their field. Our aim is to ensure that our research contributes to the public good through sharing knowledge for the benefit of society. Past students include five Nobel Laureates – Max Theiler, Alan Cormack, Sir Aaron Klug, Ralph Bunche and, most recently, J M Coetzee....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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