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(Cape Town, August 13) –“The consequences of climate change are very much noticeable in our everyday life, this is more so than ever before”.

One of the sectors  that has been most affected by  climate changehas been  Agriculture. In South Africa, the food production is no longer as it was 15 years ago.  The change of the rainy seasons is very visible- there is an increase in temperatures and drought is more regular. Currently there are much more pests, intense rainfall events, chill units and grain yield reduction.

Rural women have continued to maintain a livelihood in the face of these unfavorable climatic conditions with limited support services such as poor access to own land,  assets and education to assist them to adjust. Due their marginalized status and dependence on local natural resources, their domestic burdens are more challenging today. These points were raised during a Rural Women and Climate Change workshop, held in Cape Town, from 11 to 12 July. The workshop brought more than 40  Rural Women  and fishers from different regions of South Africa, as well experts on Climate Change. The participants came from more than 15 popular organisations.

During the workshop it was mentioned that rural women and small-scale fishers are also underrepresented in decision making about climate change.

According to Peter Johnston from University of Cape Town, since 1998 the temperatures have  increased in South Africa and industrialization is pointed as the greatest reason for that. Due to its high industrialization and mining industry, South Africa is one of biggest polluter country in Africa.

Causes of Climate Change

Participants of the workshop listed the principal causes of climate change as  the capitalism system, industrial agriculture, over use of fuels and energy, deforestation and over fishing were pointed as the causes of climate change.

Adaptation to Climate Change

Small-scale farmers have many barriers to what is called adaptation to climate change. Factors as poverty, the lack of access to credit, the lack of savings, insecure property rights, the lack of markets, the lack of climate information and knowledge of appropriate adaptation measures make, becomes impossible for them to adopt adaptation to climate change.