Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) is a four year project within the multi-consortia Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) programme. The project addresses the challenge of providing accessible, timely, applicable and defensible climate information that is needed by decision-makers operating at the city regional scale in southern Africa.
One of the main scientific problems for understanding southern Africa’s climate is that different models give contradictory scenarios for climate trends over the next 5–40 years. Through a transdisciplinary learning approach and scientific research FRACTAL is contributing to an improved understanding of climate processes, and regional and local climate trends that drive the southern African climate system’s natural variability and responses to change within that system.
The project engages with scientists, engineers, government representatives and other stakeholders. Working together, the researchers and stakeholders are co-producing relevant knowledge that will support resilient development pathways and enable decision-makers to better integrate pertinent climate knowledge into their resource management decisions and urban development planning.
WHERE WE WORK
FRACTAL operates in nine southern African cities.
Learning Labs are held regularly in Tier 1 cities, bringing together stakeholders to improve understanding of climate-related problems and to support discussions around possible solutions. An Embedded Researcher has been appointed in each city. They are positioned inside organisations where city-regional decisions are made and can therefore help researchers focus on improving the scientific climate information that is needed and advise how this information can be integrated into local decision-making processes.
In Blantyre, Gabarone and Harare, the Tier 2 cities, research is focused on transferability of relevant climate knowledge. Research in the three self-funded cities (all in South Africa) is being carried out into various aspects of these cities’ climate-related issues. There is significant cross-city engagement and exchanges enabling learning and sharing between the cities.
FRACTAL consists of more than 70 researchers from partner organisations around the world:
- Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG), University of Cape Town
- African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town
- African Centre for Cities (ACC), University of Cape Town
- Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
- Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
- International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), Local Governments for Sustainability
- Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Oxford
- Global Change Systems for Analysis, Research and Training (START)
- Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
- Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- European Commission (EC) Joint Research Centre
FRACTAL is funded through the Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) programme. FCFA is an international research programme that supports research to better understand climate variability and change across sub-Saharan Africa. The programme focuses on advancing scientific knowledge, understanding and prediction of African climate variability and change on 5-40 year timescales. It also supports better integration of science into longer-term decision making, leading to improved climate risk management and the protection of lives and livelihoods.
The programme is delivered through projects conducted by four regional research consortia, including FRACTAL, and one global modelling consortium:
- African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA-2050)
- Integrating Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Decisions for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa (HyCRISTAL)
- Improving Model Processes for African cLimAte (IMPALA)
- Uncertainty reduction in Models For Understanding deveLopment Applications (UMFULA)