South Africa—the third most biodiverse country in the world—is home to more than 95,000 known species and a diverse range of biomes, from forests to deserts to river delta systems and more. The rich biodiversity of these natural areas plays an important role in the South African Government’s progressive green economy agenda, as it recognizes that those areas provide a wide range of ecosystem services for its people, including food, water, clean air, medicine, resources for livelihoods, recreation, and energy to power daily life and industry.
Climate impacts social and economic development across sectors, in numerous ways. Each sector also has unique opportunities to contribute to climate solutions. USAID integrates climate change in development programming across a variety of technical fields.
With the climate changing in fast and uncertain ways, getting the right information for infrastructure design is becoming more challenging. USAID spends over a billion dollars a year building infrastructure across our humanitarian assistance and development portfolios, so it’s important that the Agency get it right. Infrastructure matters to international development. How the world grows, advances, and develops is (literally) built on a foundation of infrastructure.
Strong, resilient infrastructure can help countries better prepare for climate variability and change, such as more severe and frequent weather events or sea level rise. Basic infrastructure is failing, insufficient, or non-existent in many developing countries, and changes in climate can damage infrastructure across sectors from energy, health, education, and others.
As USAID and the international community know, if infrastructure fails during a crisis, the implications on human lives are enormous. To ensure future floods and other extreme weather events don’t cause the level of damage and misery seen in the wake of Idai and Kenneth, there are two myths that we urgently need to dispel.