SarWatch Writer
Call for papers


1. Background and justification

The Southern Africa region is deemed to be warming twice the global average and is already experiencing extreme weather conditions and severe droughts while more intensive cyclones are projected. Thus, the region is identified as one of the 10 climate hot spots in the world. These climate- induced weather hazards have already had devastating effects on the society, environment and economy of countries in the region already battling infrastructure, social services and food security challenges amongst many others. The limited investments made by the SADC countries towards detecting early warning systems and disaster response mechanisms have exerted further shocks to the citizens and more so local communities.

The region is a top producer of the world ‘s fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and exploited mineral reserves which include platinum group of metals (PGMS), diamonds, gold, chromium, cobalt, vanadium, manganese and many others. As a result, a multitude of extractive activities in the region are taking place supplying various fossil fuels, minerals and metals to developed, industrialised economies. The sector is thus, a significant contributor to the economic development of many countries in the Southern Africa region. Unfortunately, most of these minerals and fossil fuels are exported as ores, concentrates or metals, without significant value-addition. The argument by most citizens in the region is that the extractive industry has not fulfilled its much expected poverty reduction and sustainable development role. The extractive industry has been deemed a major contributor of climate change due to the sector’s emission of greenhouse gases produced in extremely energy-intensive processes.

The extractive industry is therefore a game player in the discourse of climate change reduction and adaptation given the nexus between the two on the earth’s biosphere, ways of life, and economic development particularly for SADC. Climate change will impact the extractives industry sector in several ways, generating both threats and opportunities; however this nexus is hardly articulated in the context of the implications for sustainable development and climate change mitigation.


Despite the extractives industry playing an indispensable role in the economic development of countries in the region, very little has been advanced on the connection between climate change and the key sector for mitigation and adaptation. On the one hand, the extractive industry carries the risk of further aggravating changes in natural environmental conditions likely to disrupt resource-dependent livelihood generation for local communities yet facing technical and financial resources challenges for efforts to adapt to a changing climate. These challenges further exacerbate the broad range of social, cultural, environmental, economic and institutional concerns that lie at the heart of sustainable development in the region’s extractive industry. The sector is riddled by human rights violations of forced displacements without free prior informed consultations and compensation, pollution, deforestation, biodiversity degradation, inequitable redistribution of returns, lack of transparency in profit sharing and revenue management and corruption. In addition, the move to a lower-carbon future will see a significant increase in the demand for strategic minerals and metals which the region is major a major holder of. There is no doubt that SADC is in an excellent position to supply the global climate-friendly energy transition due to the significant reserves of platinum, manganese, nickel, copper, lithium, cobalt and many others.

It is thus very important that SADC draws the nexus between climate change and the extractive industry within the broader sustainable development context. These linkages need to be better understood and incorporated in policy and strategic decision making by key interested and affected stakeholders.

The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Regional Programme Energy Security and Climate Change (KAS) are therefore looking for research proposals on the Nexus between Climate Change and Extractive Industries in Southern Africa, in order to facilitate knowledge transfer that will support governments and companies in policy formulation and implementation.

Results will be presented at a Regional Conference on Climate Change and SADC’s Extractive Industry: Towards a Just Action Plan for Sustainable Development which is scheduled to take place later this year.

2. Overall objective of the study

The overall objective is to increase the capacities of extractive companies and member states to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, in support of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), the Africa Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a guideline, the following topics should be considered:

  • Understanding the nexus of climate change and extractive industry.
  • The role of SADC’s strategic minerals in the just transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Climate change and its impact on people’s socio-economic conditions, especially mining communities in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Extractive industries and climate change: mitigation and adaption
  • The role of extractive industries towards a framework on climate change mitigation and adaptation (study to be applied to a region such as SADC, UEMOA, CEMAC).
  • An implementation review of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in SADC;

Researchers should consider previous research on the topics and statistical data already available.

3. Methodology
Research should draw on both existing and new quantitative and qualitative data to answer the given topics. Methodology and data collection methods should be included in the proposal.

4. Recipients

  • Extractive industries
  • Relevant political stakeholders
  • Scientists
  • Relevant civil society stakeholders

5. Expected deliverables

Final research paper, no later than 31 July 2020: The researchers are expected to produce a paper on a topic addressed in these ToRs. The format of the final study will be determined through consultation with SARW. It is assumed that it will be a plausible and whenever possible, rigorous assessment of data and its conclusions. The report should be written clearly to a standard suitable for publication. It should include an executive summary of up to 5 pages and be no more than 30 pages in length (Windows Arial font 11) (excluding annexes).

For this deliverable:

  • The researchers will update SARW frequently on the process of compiling the study (at least once a month, via email or phone or in person).
  • The researchers will be asked to revise their research to take into consideration questions and feedback from SARW/KAS after the presentation of the draft paper.
  • A full and complete draft is required to be handed over to SARW/KAS before the final version is due.

6. Budget and project outline

For every research proposal, a maximum of 1000USD can be granted. The proposed budget should show:
The daily cost rate of the consultancy team, broken down into the following activities:
6.1.1. Project management and report writing
6.1.2. Desk research
6.1.3. Other cost items

The budget should be in local currency and USD.

7. Call for expression of interest/proposal submission

The researchers or constituted a group of researchers interested in this assignment are expected to submit the following documents:

  • CV of researcher(s)
  • Outline of the research proposal (2 pages maximum)
  • Budget plan
  • At least two references

Submission guidelines
Please send your documents to: [email protected] Deadline for applications: 27th of April 2019

If your proposal is accepted, you will be contacted by End of April 2020. You are eligible to receive financial support only after your proposal has been accepted and you have received a written confirmation from KAS.


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