According to the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, tackling climate change is a national priority for the country even as we continue to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.To fully discern the devastating impact of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of South Africans, one needs to take a closer look at the prolonged drought in parts of the Eastern, Northern, and Western Cape and how the drought from 2018 to 2020 drove up food prices, particularly of basic staples such as maize meal.
Furthermore, the environmental impact climate change has unleashed on the tourism industry is unquestionable. But, what many of us overlook is that being environmentally sensitive also has monetary benefits. In a country such as South Africa that is lauded for its beauty, a considerable amount of local and international tourists are attracted to nature and the scenic outdoors as well as wildlife safaris. This means that eco-tourism is a key part of our tourism industry. According to The World Bank, each lion in Africa is worth $27000 in tourism revenue, which is an additional incentive for protecting wildlife.
Makabudi Valery Phakoago is an award-winning researcher who holds an M.Sc. Environmental Sciences from the University of Venda, a B.Sc. (Hons) Zoology and B.Sc. Molecular and Life Sciences from the University of Limpopo. She has a deep appreciation for animals and nature which drove her to wildlife conservation, through her research Makabudi aims to unpack whether southern African mammals will cope with progressively hotter and drier conditions associated with climate change within the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve.
Tswalu is part of a collection of properties that are in partnership with Oppenheimer Generations Research and Conservation. Oppenheimer Generations Research and Conservation is a first-class research entity that supports, funds, and facilitates national and international researchers to conduct cutting-edge research focused on the natural sciences and enable practical and impactful outcomes for the global survival of the environment and man. And to protect biodiversity and heritage assets through ground-breaking research and best practice to ensure continued species and ecosystem functioning to the benefit of all communities.