Partners: National Governments, Continental Institutions, Regional Institutions, Parliamentary Forums, Civil Society Organisations, Funders

The South African Development Community’s (SADC) main goals are to reduce poverty and improve the lives of people in the region by driving economic development in a peaceful and cooperative political environment. Unfortunately, climate change in the region is threatening valuable, long-term progress towards these goals. A concrete example of this is is that infrastructure such as roads are vulnerable to extreme weather events like flooding and extreme heat.

The SADC nations’ shared vulnerability is also a valuable opportunity to strengthen cooperation and integrate climate change into long-term development plans, ensuring sustainable development in the region.

The Regional Climate Change Programme (RCCP) was commissioned to enable transboundary adaptation to climate change and to ensure fair and inclusive access to climate funding in Southern Africa.

OneWorld established the financial, social, environmental and economic impacts of climate change in the region and produced an integrated, transboundary programme to enable the region to more effectively respond to the challenges of climate change.

Activities focused on strengthening adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change across the region, particularly in water, agriculture, human health and energy.

The feasibility study established the demand for a regional climate change programme in Southern Africa. Applying a ground-breaking methodology – which has become a benchmark – a scientific climate risk and vulnerability assessment identified the most vulnerable areas of the region. Stakeholders such as government, business, civil society and vulnerable groups like women and youth, came together to engage with the evidence and validate scientific findings, which included, for example, a transboundary water study.

In the design phase, OneWorld analysed the needs of the region and designed appropriate interventions while expanding stakeholder engagement to inform the programme design.

A wide range of institutions, programmes and initiatives were surveyed resulting in a more in-depth understanding of existing climate change interventions and likely areas of collaboration. The design phase was completed in January 2009.

The implementation phase, from early 2009, developed platforms, tools, datasets, maps and publications for addressing climate change resilience in the region in collaboration with stakeholders, and strengthened institutional capacity to use and adapt these.

Improving the region’s access to outside climate funding and strengthening Africa’s voice in international climate negotiations were key programme activities; training workshops were carried out with institutions, trainers and climate negotiators for the development of successful climate finance proposals.

OneWorld also successfully mainstreamed climate concerns into Zambia’s 6th National Development Plan (water chapter) and into national sector plans in South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola. OneWorld also ensured the integration of climate change into the region’s water agenda, through the annual SADC multi-stakeholder water dialogues.


As part the programme, OneWorld published a wide range of reports, policy and research briefs and Negotiator’s Indexes, some of which are still in use today. OneWorld also designed and maintained a knowledge-sharing platform, intended to make these valuable resources as widely accessible as possible.

Negotiators Index

Research Briefs

Policy Briefs

Knowledge For Adaptation Series

Project Data


Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) (formally DFID)


Southern African Development Community (SADC)


Nile Basin Policy Review and Climate Change Strategy Review
Thuto ya Batho: Women adapt to climate change