SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa based Industry organisation Agri SA has welcomed the appointment of its legal and policy executive Janse Rabie to the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The body has a central role to play as South Africa works to adapt to and mitigate the effects and causes of climate change.

With the agricultural sector amongst the most affected by this phenomenon, the appointment to the commission of a representative for the sector is an important step in building the consensus the sector needs to effectively address the challenges before it, said Agri SA statement.

An attorney by training, Janse holds a Master of Laws degree in marine and environmental law from the University of Cape Town.

Since joining Agri SA in 2017, he is noted to have been instrumental in elevating the importance of the agricultural sector’s vital relationship with, and reliance on, the natural environment.

In addition to his role as legal and policy executive at Agri SA, Rabie is also the organisation’s head of natural resources.

“No one lives closer to, relies more upon, or is more affected by the climate and our natural environment than our farmers. I look forward to bringing the perspectives and experience of Agri SA and the agricultural sector to the important work currently being performed by the Presidential Climate Commission,” said Rabie.

The announcement comes as the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP27 – gets underway in Egypt this week.

South Africa is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, and the PCC was established to coordinate and oversee the just transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient economy, as envisioned under this convention and international agreement.

The agricultural sector is inextricably linked to the natural environment. It both affects, and is affected by, climate volatility and change.

There is significant work taking place to address the causes and effects of climate change, including the Climate Change Bill which is currently moving through Parliament, and the agricultural sector must play an integral role as South Africa formulates a coherent and effective response to the growing threat.

“While climate change poses risks for South Africa, it also presents great opportunities for innovation and homegrown solutions in the agricultural sector and beyond.

“Agri SA has been steadfast in its appeal for the inclusion of more representatives from the agricultural sector, a necessity if South Africa is going to develop a holistic approach to the just transition that creates new opportunities for young South Africans across all sectors of the economy,” the organisation emphasises.

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