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South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas - SARVA

Author: Kristy Faccer - CSIR

( Article Type: Sustainable Development )

The South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), implemented by the Natural Resources and Environment Unit of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. The Atlas was designed as technology transfer mechanism under the DST’s 10-year Global Change Grand Challenge to bridge the gap between global change science and global change policy. The Atlas is a critical source of global change information, accessible to a wide range of audiences involved in the identification, planning and action around global change risks, challenges and opportunities in South Africa. Atlas content is delivered through two main vehicles, including an open-source geospatial web-based platform and hard copy information and syntheses coordinated by CSIR and partners (such as the South African Environmental Observation Network, the Council for Geosciences and the Department of Environmental Affairs).
The Atlas includes information on various themes, such as those relating to socioeconomics, climate/atmosphere, disaster management, agriculture, surface water, ground water, air quality/emissions, human settlements, biodiversity and coastal and marine systems. Some examples of information to be found in the Atlas include South African projections of climate change at local scales, by different models, for the 21st century; assessments of the risk of coastal flooding due to sea level rise; probabilities of drought and water shortages; population densities; economic activity and poverty levels.
New data is being generated and data is being updated to the Atlas on an ongoing basis by this project, its partners and as an output of all activities funded through the DST’s Global Change Grand Challenge Programme.
In addition, CSIR is also working with partners to provide targeted support and outreach to the application of Atlas information to target groups such as municipalities and businesses. Much of the engagement with these groups will take place through stakeholder engagement events which facilitate discussion around the Atlas, and its uses and application to the individual needs, challenges and roles of these groups in planning for a resilient South Africa. For more information about the Atlas, stakeholder engagement or outreach activities, contact CSIR as listed in the Enviropaedia directory. To access and view maps and data available on the data porthole, visit the SARVA website: