#Mpungose: A community-driven response to climate change

We are excited to share news of a dedicated collaboration between Inkosi Thandisizwe Mpungose, the Mpungose community of Eshowe, Northern KwaZulu-Natal, and ALL RISE, which has resulted in the creation of a significant Community Climate Change Manifesto.

Workshopping a groundbreaking document

In October 2022, Inkosi Thandisizwe Mpungose invited ALL RISE to facilitate the first community-based climate change workshop in the Mpungose Traditional Authority. Over 40 delegates; including learners, educators, farmers, and leaders of the Mpungose community; attended the two-day workshop.  

The purpose of this gathering was to talk about climate change and its impacts on the community, what our government is doing about it, and what can be done to mitigate the negative impacts both as individuals and as a community. The workshop aimed to inform and assist the community in taking action and putting together a community document outlying actions to take to mitigate the impacts of climate change. A key component included presentations from school learners of the Mpungose community. 

This workshop began a very important process to develop the Mpungose community-driven response to climate change, which hopes to drive similar action for communities near and far.

The Mpungose Community Climate Change Manifesto

The outcome of this workshop was a groundbreaking Manifesto drafted by members of the Mpungose community. This Manifesto acknowledges the devastating effects of climate change and highlights the need for a community-driven response to this issue.

The Mpungose Community Climate Change Manifesto calls on the Government to create necessary policies and plans, work with environmental stakeholders, and uphold the fundamental rights as provided in the Constitution in adherence with IDP Framework and the National Environmental Management Act.

Additionally, it calls on the Government, businesses, and all South Africans to uphold their duty to prevent pollution and other environmental damage to promote conservation and sustainable development for us and future generations.

Furthermore, the Manifesto outlines responsibilities and actions to be taken by the Mpungose community, such as actively participating in the conservation of natural resources and wildlife, promoting indigenous knowledge, creating awareness, and so much more. 

The importance of a community-driven approach to climate change

Climate change and environmental degradation pose a severe threat to communities worldwide. With each passing day, the world is warming at an unprecedented rate. It has been proven that the effects of climate change are often experienced disproportionately by rural communities, highly dependent on natural resources – especially women and children-headed households. Despite this, more needs to be done to empower or involve these communities in these discussions and decisions affecting their lives and livelihoods. Every member of every community has a right to a safe environment, to participate in discussions, and to be heard. 

The ability to input on matters that directly impact our lives and our environment is an essential component of our dignity and rights. Without a strong human rights element, protecting the environment, biodiversity and water or adequately addressing climate change issues is impossible.

The Mpungose Community Climate Change Manifesto is a real example of a community-driven response to climate change in South Africa. We hope many will read the document and strive to implement similar policies in their communities. 

This collaboration has been made possible by All RISE and Bekezela Community Foundation in partnership with the Southern Africa Trust.