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.
South Africa is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, and the Presidential Climate Commission 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 both affects and is affected by climate change. Work is currently 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, in its statement, said tat it 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.
In addition to his role as legal and policy executive at Agri SA, Rabie is also the organisation’s head of natural resources. An attorney by training, he holds a Master of Laws degree in marine and environmental law from the University of Cape Town. Since joining Agri SA in 2017, he has been instrumental in elevating the importance of the agricultural sector’s vital relationship with, and reliance on, the natural environment.
"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.
"South Africa’s food security in coming years will depend on our ability to maintain a sustainable environment for farming. We, therefore, look forward to working with other sections of the economy and of society to ensure that we make progress towards the goal of creating a resilient and prosperous country for generations to come."