An online portal to help South Africa respond to climate change has been announced by South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (SARVA)

It is hoped that SARVA will help South Africa's economic and social sectors take informed decisions to avoid risks related to climate change.

“In a data-driven world, the importance of analytical tools that can make sense of the plethora of data is self-evident. Proper analysis and the capacity to use such information will inform the innovation and technological improvements that enable South Africa to implement its nationally determined contributions to combat climate change,” said Mr Patel, adding that the atlas could serve as an educational tool to provide evidence of potential impacts of climate to communities and decision-makers," said Imraan Patel, Deputy Director-General: Socio-Economic Innovation Partnerships at South Africa's Department of Science and Technology (DST).

While speaking at the launch event, Patel also added that the initiative was a science policy initiative of the DST’s Global Change and was a repository of the most up to date information to support decision-making at local and national levels in South Africa. The portal and atlas is developed by the CSIR, an entity of the DST.

, said increasingly, settlements are becoming vulnerable to risks through swelling poverty, lack of basic services and human rights, and their extension into unsafe land.

“Their vulnerabilities are expected to increase due to the high levels of informal housing and the lack of efficient management of these growth areas. Rural areas are particularly vulnerable due to their dependency on climate-sensitive resources such as water and an agrarian landscape,” said Hermanus. However, climate change will affect livelihoods beyond living conditions and infrastructure," said May Hermanus, Executive Director at the CSIR (Natural Resources and Environment).

SARVA's aim is to disseminate spatial and non-spatial data that describes, assesses and evaluates the risks and vulnerabilities facing the country due to climate change.