“This access, combined with our rich biodiversity and extensive mineral wealth, will allow South Africa to balance investment in optimal development futures with the appropriate allocation of resources to environmental programmes,” said Manuel.
SANBI works closely with national climate change policymakers and it has led the development of South Africa’s second national communication on climate change for this Conference of the Parties.
Manuel said the fund would finance projects that aim to improve society’s ability to cope with the risks posed by climate change.
“As a country that is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, this appointment is significant for South Africa for securing the funds needed to plan our development trajectory in a way that is responsive to climate change,” said Manuel.
Also launched on Wednesday was the Living Beehive, which contains architectural techniques of the original Zulu beehive hut construction, but combines modern day materials such as steel frames with nature's building materials such as indigenous plants typical of the rolling hills of the grasslands in KwaZulu-Natal.
Such grasslands provide grazing for cattle, habitat for medicinal plants, prevent soil erosion and ensure clean water provisioning for South Africa's major urban centres and the millions of people who inhabit them.
The project was funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and the UN’s Industrial Development Organisation.
Located at Durban’s Botanic Gardens, it represents the type of innovative, out-of-the-box thinking that is needed to address the impacts of climate change and the need to find solutions to a low carbon economy that can also create sustainable jobs.
This 17m in diameter and 9m high art installation has been designed to showcase South Africa's rich blend of natural, cultural and mineral wealth at COP17.
The Beehive’s living walls represent the importance of healthy ecosystems and are populated with indigenous grasses, forbs and bulbs.
Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Rejoice Mabudafhasi said the Living Beehive was an example of nature and people working together.
“By recognising the importance of built and ecological infrastructure, and by bringing together natural and man-made design, the Living Beehive shows us the possibilities for job creation, service delivery and economic growth in a truly green economy,” said Mabudafhasi.