MAPS Provocateur Briefing Report Forum on Development and Mitigation - Adressing Land Use Change in South Africa

For many years in the climate change discussions and policy making processes, the impacts of land use changes on climate variability have been overlooked. Given the significant impact of land use change on livelihoods, it is high time that the issue of land use change is fully integrated into the South African policy discourse and appropriate measures are put in place to address the issue. Livelihoods diversification strategies among the rural poor include dedicated investments for smallholder farmers, institutional capacity building efforts by the state and local authorities, promotion of research and development, and promotion of conservation agriculture. Reduced impacts of land use change on livelihoods will facilitate national development, social cohesion, and balanced growth, thus reducing the income disparity and emissions associated with land use change. This reflective brief provides an overview of the impacts of land use change on development and mitigation, its drivers, policy prioritisation and recommendations.