Climate Change Adaptation

Our current projects

Building Local Adaptive Capacity

Indigo has engaged in a range of projects and activities to support local climate change adaptation practices in the Suid Bokkeveld with small-scale rooibos tea farmers and other local community members. These include Adaptation Knowledge Exchange visits, regular climate change preparedness workshops, publishing learning stories in the “Adaptation and beyond” publication, regular training activities and participatory water monitoring on farm level.

Climate Champions for Adaptation

The “Innovative partnerships for change: raising new climate change initiatives and champions” project, known as “Climate Champions for Adaptation” is a 4-year European Union-funded project to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations to address climate change impacts on the land tenure and farming systems of small-scale farmers in South Africa. Indigo has partnered on this project with project lead, the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA) (hosts of the Land Network National Engagement Strategy (LandNNES)), the Institute for Natural Resources (INR), the University of KZN’s Farmer Support Group (FSG) and Heifer Project South Africa (HPSA) . The project runs from 2021 to 2025.

Through this project Indigo will build the capacity building of civil society organisations in the land and agriculture sectors on climate change, supporting these organisations to engage on climate and agriculture policy, host youth exchanges and train youth in the use of participatory video techniques. This project will also support three action research learning journeys to assess the vulnerability of communities to climate change impacts and identify possible adaptation or mitigation intervention strategies.

Adaptation Network (Southern Africa)

In June 2009 Indigo and EMG jointly facilitated a process that resulted in the formation of the Adaptation Network, given the pressing need for a more coherent and synergistic approach to adaptation in South Africa.

In 2022 Indigo has once again been elected to serve as the Secretariat host to the network and will continue to support the capacity building of network members. The Adaptation Network’s Secretariat is currently supported by funding from the Government of Flanders through a project of the ACDI of UCT.

Adaptation Finance: Engaging with the Adaptation Fund Civil Society Network

Indigo is a core partner in the Adaptation Fund Civil Society Network, hosted by Germanwatch and Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA) and leads the Southern African Regional Hub for this network. Through this network Indigo engages on the Adaptation Fund’s policies and processes in the context of international adaptation finance, while also observing the national planning and implementation of projects funded by the Fund in South Africa.

Adaptation is about people

The Sustainable Stewardship project focuses on the capacity development of small-scale farmers in the Suid Bokkeveld in Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) and promoting sustainable stewardship of the area’s unique biodiversity and ecosystems.

Sustainable Stewardship with Small-Scale Farmers in the Suid Bokkeveld

Throughout the project more than 20 small-scale farmers have undergone extensive training in Climate-Smart Agriculture practices. These included the establishment of trial plots for evaluation and monitoring of CSA practices at the three local farms of Blomfontein, Melkkraal, and Dobbelaarskop to develop location-specific strategies for sustainable agriculture. The project also set up a sustainable stewardship program with willing small-scale farmers to promote the implementation of CSA principles and the conservation of the unique biodiversity of the Bokkeveld Plateau.

These trial plots have served as demonstration sites for the use of CSA within an arid region of South Africa where other small and large-scale farmers, researchers, and other stakeholders can visit and learn about the methods suitable for sustainable agriculture under arid conditions affected by climate change.

This project is supported by the WWF Nedbank Green Trust.


Co-creating solutions

Past Projects

Livestock Monitoring

Local farmers in the Suid Bokkeveld engaged in monitoring the condition of their sheep during times of extreme climate, to better understand how different weather situations affect livestock, especially sheep. 4 women monitors assessed the behaviour of their livestock, with weekly weighing and condition assessments of 30 sample sheep complementing this monitoring process.

This work resulted in the publishing of a livestock and climate change hand book in 2016. This project was supported by START and the WWF Nedbank Green Trust.


Participatory Livestock Monitoring


Mechal – Adaptation to climate change in South Africa and Ethiopia

An integrated research approach to develop adaptive management strategies by small scale farmers in semi-arid South Africa and Ethiopia under changing climatic and policy conditions.

This project was supported by a range of partners: University of Hamburg (Germany), CSIR, UCT, EMG (all South Africa), Shesheme University and CIFOR (both Ethiopia) and was funded by the German Volkswagen Foundation.

CBAA – Community Based Adaptation in Africa

This project was implemented with a range of international partners and funded by CCAA.

It focused on developing a robust methodology on community based climate adaptation processes including monitoring and evaluation systems for adaptation projects.

Indigo implemented the South African Component in this research programme in collaboration with Associate Adele Arendse.

Climate Change Adaptation in the Swartland

This project focused on increasing the resilience of small-scale farmers in the Swartland to climate change through offering a range of activities and climate change preparedness workshops to farmers in order to increase their resilience.

Indigo implemented this project in collaboration with Associate Rhoda Malgas and Project 90×2030. This project was a pilot project and funded by CCAA.

Adaptation to climate change of small-scale Rooibos Tea farmers

This project was implemented in partnership with the Environmental Monitoring Group, South South North and Witwatersrand University.

The focus was on adaptation to expected climate change in combination with 3 monthly climate change preparedness workshops. Using an action research approach, field experiments and interviews, this research project was a pilot for community based climate change adaptation.

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