Specialists in every ministry and organisation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region should be trained to adapt to and mitigate climate change, according to Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka, who holds the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) chair in global change and social learning systems. Universities, therefore, need to introduce programmes on climate change in the short and long term to increase capacity in communities.

This could ensure that communities are well informed on issues of climate change and that they have survival skills, Lotz-Sisitka said during a presentation at the Southern African Regional Universities Association’s (SARUA) eighth colloquium on climate change held virtually on 22 June 2021.

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The critical role of higher education institutions towards the adoption of long-term climate-smart resolutions and sustainable development policies in society has been intensified over the years as the world grapples with the adverse effects of climate change, especially within vulnerable communities.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, a region most devastated by climate change, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), academic institutions have been working with stakeholders to develop curriculums, advance research projects and provide further training for graduates on climate change.

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