8 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 5 χρόνια και 1 μήνα)

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Natural resources
management and climate
change in South Sudan
Government of the Republic of South Sudan
Ministry of Environment
United Nations Development Programme
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
Flows of the White Nile.
Image courtesy of Daniel Kammen
This Environmental Impacts, Risks and
Opportunities Assessment was carried out from 2
May to 15 June 2011 with the aim of identifying
environmental project interventions that will assist
the Government of South Sudan to establish
adequate environmental governance. Action in this
area is urgent due to the effects of climate change
and the increasing pressures on the environment
caused by the resettlement of people returning to
South Sudan after the war.
After a period of over fifty years dominated by wars,
and the independence process which created the
country of South Sudan, an institutional and
regulatory framework to govern environmental
issues is now being developed. This process,
however, needs to be boosted to cope with the
complexity of the issues and dynamics of transition,
which include rapid deforestation, land grabbing,
and insecure, vulnerable livelihoods for large
sections of the population. Indicators of these
dynamics include a significant increase in population
size during 2011 (estimated to be more than 10
percent), and the rate of land privatization in South
Sudan, which is currently the highest in Africa.
The assessment is based on the results of earlier
assessments and surveys carried out by, among
others, the United Nations Environmental
Programme (UNEP), United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), International
Resources Group, (IRG), the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme
(WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD). In addition, interviews were
held with South Sudan government staff at
national, state, county, payam and boma levels,
staff from international organizations, resource
users, returning war refugees and internally
displaced persons (IDPs), and with local community
based organizations and non-governmental
organizations (CBOs and NGOs).
Some of the most striking impacts relating to
climate change and environmental degradation on
water, soil, forests, biodiversity, agriculture and
fisheries were observed as:
The drying up of permanent rivers resulting
in seasonal rivers, the reduction of water
tables in boreholes, and the delay and
shortening of rainy seasons;
Increased soil degradation due to water
erosion, wind erosion and fire;
Accelerating deforestation due to wood
being collected for fuel, charcoal production,
livestock, agriculture, bricks, and collection
of construction materials;
Reduced wildlife populations due to war-
related hunting with a limited possibility
of recovery in many areas;
Lower agricultural revenues per hectare due
to unpredictable rains and soil degradation;
Competition for drinking water between
people and livestock and habitat
degradation for livestock and wildlife due to
vegetation degradation and desertification
(in the north and south-east of South Sudan);
Loss of fish species and reduction of fish size
as a result of rivers becoming increasingly
Dealing with these impacts requires action that
addresses the following threats:
Climate change;
The short-term perspective of land users;
Unsustainable use of natural resources
including communities’ dependence on
forest products;
No value added through processing (forestry,
Increased export of forest products due
to improved road access;
Land privatization associated with
unregulated large scale clearing (land
Mineral exploitation without adequate
mitigating measures (particularly oil
exploration in wetlands such as the Sudd
Increased insecurity at community level and
conflicts often related to resource access.
Weaknesses in the current governance framework
for environmental management have been identified
as follows:
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
An incomplete legal framework (e.g.
the Environmental Bill not endorsed);
Environmental policy and legal framework
not elaborated at lower administrative levels
(state, county);
Lack of capacity to monitor development
and resource use;
Unclear institutional roles and
Revenue collection not used to regulate
resource utilisation;
Lack of coordination between sectors.
South Sudan has a number of significant
opportunities putting it in a beneficial position
compared to most other countries in the region and
creating a considerable potential for sustainable
development. These include:
The opportunity to develop new and
effective governmental structures and
systems, with limited hindrance by old,
ineffective practices;
Strong international attention from donors
and investors;
A high number of young people able to learn
and take up jobs;
Low population density in relation to a
significant wealth of basic primary resources
such as abundant water, good soils, relatively
high rainfall and potentially a good forest
The presence of the Sudd and other wetlands
as a climate buffer and as a resource for
agriculture, livestock, fisheries and various
Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs);
Considerable oil revenues potentially
providing significant alternative income;
Potential for tourism providing significant
alternative income;
International support available through the
adoption of international conventions such
as the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD), the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
and the United Nations Convention to
Combat Desertification (UNCCD);
Existence of international funding
mechanisms through the United Nations
Collaborative Programme on Reducing
Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-
To enhance environmental governance, this
assessment proposes the application of a conceptual
model intervening at the levels of knowledge
management (e.g. assessments, analysis, monitoring,
communication, learning), policy development (e.g.
fire policy, land use policy, revenue policy), capacity
building (e.g. institutions, communities, public-
private partnerships, logistics) and natural resources
management practices (e.g. high pressure brick
making, integrated fish farming).
The overall goal of project support to environmental
governance is proposed to be:
Supporting the Government to develop capacity
at national and sub-national levels for sustainable
environmental governance to deal with climate
change adaptation and mitigation and to cope
with increasing pressure on natural resources,
assuring a future for current and returning
Proposed project intervention priorities:
The development and mainstreaming of a green
energy and low carbon policy, aiming to stop the
degradation of forest, soil and water resources,
and to link up with related global initiatives;
The consolidation of the institutional and
regulatory framework for environmental
management, aiming at the completion,
endorsement and implementation of the
environmental policy framework, addressing all
current institutional and legal issues;
Sectoral integration of natural resources policy
planning and implementation with regard to
forest, land and water through the introduction
of Strategic Environment Impact Assessment
(SEA), the promotion of integrated land use
planning, and integrated river basin
Summary 4
Acronyms 8
1. Introduction 10
1.1 Purpose of this assessment 10
1.2 Implementation 10
1.3 Geographical and physical context 10
1.4 Climate change 12
2. Problem formulation 13
2.1 Historical perspective 13
2.2 Environment issues 13
2.3 Environment, social conflicts and governance 14
2.4 Natural resources management challenges 14
3. Stakeholder analysis 16
3.1 Background 16
3.2 Government 16
3.3 Traditional authorities 16
3.4 Private sector 16
3.5 IDPs, returnees 16
3.6 Fishers 17
3.7 Cultivators 18
3.8 Livestock keepers 18
3.9 Urban population 19
3.10 Local NGOs and CBOs 19
3.11 International NGOs and donors 19
4. Institutional & policy framework 20
4.1 Relevant institutions 20
4.1.1 Governmental agencies 20
4.1.2 Natural resource management and environment working groups 21
4.2 Policy and regulations 22
4.2.1 General framework 22
4.2.2 South Sudan Development Plan 22
4.2.3 Environmental Policy and the Environment Protection Bill 23
4.2.4 The Land Act 2009 25
4.3 Policy gaps 25
4.3.1 Policy implementation 25
4.3.2 Integrated policy development 25
4.3.3 Integrated resource management 26
4.3.4 Halting degradation 26
4.3.5 Climate change adaptation 26
4.3.6 Energy 29
5. Assessment of impacts and risks 30
5.1 Methodology and availability of data 30
5.2 Climate 30
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
5.3 Water 33
5.3.1 The Sudd wetland and Jonglei canal 33
5.3.2 Disappearing rivers 35
5.3.3 Water pollution 35
5.3.4 Oil exploitation 35
5.4 Natural forest 36
5.4.1 Clearing for cultivation 36
5.4.2 Clearing for roads and settlements 36
5.4.3 Charcoal burning 37
5.4.4 Brick making 39
5.4.5 Construction wood 39
5.4.6 Livestock grazing/browsing 39
5.4.7 Fires 40
5.4.8 Water table reduction 41
5.5 Land 42
5.6 Biodiversity 42
5.7 Food security 43
5.8 Case: sustainable farming along Juba – Yei road 43
6. Recommended project interventions 46
6.1 Conceptual framework for policy development and implementation projects 46
6.2 Environmental risk factors 46
6.3 Intervention fields 47
6.3.1 Adaptation to climate change 47
6.3.2 Clean energy 47
6.3.3 Integrated development planning 47
6.3.4 Sustainable natural resources management 48
6.3.5 Water and air pollution control 49
6.3.6 Monitoring and information management 49
6.4 Good practices 49
6.5 Current initiatives and efforts 51
6.6 Priority interventions 52
7. Funding opportunities 54
7.1 Introduction 54
7.2 Revenues from resource exploitation 54
7.3 Donor funding 55
7.3.1 Global Environment Facility (GEF) 55
7.3.2 World Bank 56
7.3.3 Bilateral cooperation 56
7.4 Climate related funding mechanisms 57
7.4.1 Strategic Climate Fund 57
7.4.2 UN-REDD Programme 58
7.4.3 Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) 59
7.5 Private sector 59
Appendices 60
BSF Basic Service Fund
CAMPFIRE Communal Areas Management Programme
for Indigenous Resources
CAR Central African Republic
CBD Convention on Biological Diversity
CBNRM Community Based Natural Resources
CBO Community Based Organization
CIDA Canadian International Development Agency
CPA Comprehensive Peace Agreement
CPRU Crisis Prevention and Recovery Unit
DDR Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
DGIS Directorate General of International Cooperation,
Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
DRC Democratic Republic of the Congo
EA Environmental Assessment
EIA Environmental Impact Assessment
EIRO Environmental Impacts, Risks and Opportunities
EIS Environmental Impact Statement
ESSAF Environmental and Social Screening and
Assessment Framework
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization
Feddan = 0.42 hectare
FRA Forest Resources Assessment
FS Forestry Service (under the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry, GoSS)
GEF Global Environment Facility
GIZ German Agency for International Cooperation
GIS Geographic Information System
GTZ German Agency for International Cooperation
GO Governmental Organization
GONU Government of National Unity
GOSS Government of Southern Sudan
GR Game reserve
HCENR Higher Council for Environment and
Natural Resources
IA Implementing agency
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IOM International Organization for Migration
IRG International Resources Group
IUCN International Union for the Conservation
of Nature
IWRM Integrated Water Resources Management
LDCF Least Developed Countries Fund
M&E Monitoring and evaluation
MDG Millennium Development Goal
MEA Multilateral Environmental Agreement
MHLPU Ministry of Housing, Lands, and Public Utilities
MoAF Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
MoE Ministry of Environment
MoF Ministry of Finance
MoU Memorandum of Understanding
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
MW Mega Watt
MWCT Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism
NAPA National Adaptation Programme of Action
NCEA Netherlands Commission for Environmental
NGO Non-governmental organization
NP National Park
NRM Natural Resources Management
NRMG Natural Resources Management Group
NTFP Non Timber Forest Products
OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and
PA Protected area
PAN Protected area network
PCEA Post Conflict Environmental Assessment (UNEP)
PIF Project identification form
PPCR Pilot Program for Climate Resilience
RCU UNDP/GEF regional coordination unit
REDD Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
and Degradation
SCF Strategic Climate Fund
SCCF Special Climate Change Fund
SDG Sudanese pound (currency)
SEA Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment
SIFSIA Food Security Information for Action
SREP Program for Scaling-Up Renewable Energy
in Low Income Countries
SSCCSE South Sudan Commission for Census, Statistics
and Evaluation
SSDP Southern Sudan Development Plan
SSEC South Sudan Electricity Corporation
SSRRC Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation
TOR Terms of reference
UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change
UNCCD United Nations Convention to Combat
UNDP CO UNDP country office
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNEP United Nations Environmental Program
USAID United States Agency for International
WCS Wildlife Conservation Society
WFP World Food Programme
WWF World Wildlife Fund
Author: Floris Deodatus | All images © UNPD / Floris Deodatus
unless otherwise stated. | Design: DLD
Refugee settlement
along Lol River, NBG
1.1 PuRPoSe oF thIS ASSeSSment
The United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) and other development partners are
currently helping to build environmental
institutional and technical capacity within the
Government of South Sudan. This gradual process
seeks to encourage the Government’s adoption
of environmental control measures to counter
degradation of the natural environment and to
help mitigate the severity of future environmental
impacts as South Sudan develops. At the same time,
it is essential that more immediate and direct action
is taken to address the myriad of environmental
issues facing South Sudan.
To guide and inform the Government as it selects
priority environmental projects, this Environmental
Impacts, Risks and Opportunities (EIRO) Assessment
has been carried out with the objectives of:
(a) accurately reflecting the nature and scale of
current and potential environment impacts in
South Sudan;
(b) identifying the socio-political, economic
and environmental risks that may result if
insufficient action is taken to address the identified
environmental impacts; and
(c) identifying the most sustainable long-term
environmental interventions to mitigate adverse
impacts and to reduce the risk of human-induced
natural disasters in the future.
A sector-wide approach capturing all environmental
and sustainable energy challenges of South Sudan
will be applied and result in the identification and
elaboration of project opportunities categorized
under two thematic areas:
Climate change (incorporating adaptation, low
carbon development, technology transfer, and,
in particular, clean energy development;
Natural resources management (incorporating
sustainable forest management and land
Within the scope of these two thematic areas, the
assessment has identified technical, institutional
and policy gaps, challenges and opportunities to be
considered by the Government in the formulation
of strategies and projects to enhance governance
of natural resources and climate change issues.
1.2 ImPlementAtIon
The assessment and elaboration of priority
interventions have been carried out by an
Environmental Specialist (Floris Deodatus) in
close collaboration with the UNDP South Sudan
Crisis Prevention and Recovery Unit (Emanuel
Gebremedhin, Andrew Shuruma, Martin Dramani,
Stuart Crane, Ganiyu Ipaye), the Ministry of
Environment (David Oliver Batali), UNEP, the World
Bank, and other relevant stakeholders in Juba,
including other Government agencies, NGOs,
donors, the private sector, and resource users.
The Environment Cluster Group, in which many of
these organizations are represented, provided an
important platform for discussion and reflection.
Staff from central and local Government, as well as
development partners, were interviewed in Central
Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Lakes, Northern
Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile States. Field visits
took place in Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria,
Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile and Western
Bahr el Ghazal States.
1.3 GeoGRAPhIcAl And PhySIcAl
South Sudan (Figure 1) has an area of
approximately 640,000 km2. The country is
situated in the Nile catchment area, receiving
water from the highlands of the Central African
Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia
and Uganda, which flows into a low and vast clay
basin covering much of South. The lowest part of
this basin forms one of the world’s largest swamps,
the Sudd wetland, and other smaller wetlands.
Altitude varies between 600 and 3000 m above
sea level; the lowest point is found in the extreme
north of Upper Nile State and the highest in the
mountains of Eastern Equatoria State.
Most of South Sudan has a semi-humid climate,
with annual rainfall ranging from 200 mm in the
southeast (Eastern Equatoria) to 1200-2200 mm
in the forest zone in Western Equatoria and the
Equatorian highlands. In the northern states
rainfall varies between 700 and 1300 mm. Mean
average temperatures vary between 26° and
32°. Rainfall is seasonal: the rainy season is from
April to December and causes seasonal flooding
of floodplains. The seasonal climate patterns
cause cyclic relations in the ecosystem and
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
hence determine land use patterns of cultivation,
livestock grazing and fisheries.
The Fifth Sudan Population and Housing Census
(2008) estimated the total population of South
Sudan to be 8,260,490. The figures of this census
are debated and considered to be on the low
side, possibly in an attempt to influence the 2011
referendum process. The annual population growth
rate has been estimated at 2.2 percent (Figure 2).
Most of the country is covered with natural and
semi-natural vegetation with a variable tree
density: generally high in the south-west and
the highest mountains and low in the south-
east and north, while wetlands are dominated
by grasslands, aquatic vegetations and open
water. The dominant land use in terms of land
occupation is livestock keeping, which is practised
throughout almost all the country, but particularly
in dryer areas, which have better grass quality
and lower livestock parasite occurrence. The
vast forested areas provide, apart from food for
livestock, timber, fuel wood, charcoal and an
innumerable list of Non Timber Forest Products
(NTFPs) including food plants, medicines and
bushmeat. However, agricultural production
currently takes place on a relatively small
proportion of the land.
Descriptions on the different physical and
ecological aspects of South Sudan are provided
FIGuRe 1: Map of South Sudan showing roads and settlements
by various publications, of which the UNEP Sudan
Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment (2007) and
the USAID (IRG) Southern Sudan Environmental
Threats and Opportunities Assessment (2007) are
highlighted here.
1.4 clImAte chAnGe
The Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental
Assessment (UNEP, 2007) identifies climate
change as one of the most important threats
to the development of Sudan. According to
this assessment, expected changes in weather
patterns are projected to exacerbate existing
household vulnerabilities and to exceed current
coping mechanisms, limiting still further poor
people’s capacity to maintain sustainable
livelihoods. Expected impacts are increased
water scarcity, accelerated desertification and
soil erosion processes, decreased productivity
(a 20 percent drop in crop yields is predicted),
damages caused by more extreme climate events
such as droughts or floods, increased heath-
related illnesses, and higher risk of pest and
disease outbreaks.
Similar conclusions are drawn in other studies
(USAID, 2007, IFAD, 2009).
2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050
Population (million)
growth rate 2.2%
FIGuRe 2:
Projected growth
of the population
of South Sudan
based on the
population census
of 2008, an annual
increase of 2.2
percent and the
estimated influx of
returnees (UNHCR,
River bed exploitation for
construction materials
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
2.1 hIStoRIcAl PeRSPectIve
After gaining independence from Egypt and
the United Kingdom in 1956, Sudan suffered
seventeen years of civil war during the First
Sudanese Civil War (1955–1972) followed by
ethnic, religious and economic conflicts between
the Sudanese Government and the people of
South Sudan. This led to the Second Sudanese
Civil War in 1983, which ended with the signing of
a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005
granting autonomy to the southern part of Sudan.
Following a referendum held in January 2011,
South Sudan seceded on 9 July 2011.
During the wars the utilization of natural
resources was generally not controlled and in
some cases excessive exploitation was reported
(USAID, 2007). However, due to the depopulation
of many areas and inaccessibility due to mines,
the pressure on resources was generally low. The
signing of the CPA was followed by the return
of millions of refugees from camps in Ethiopia,
Kenya and Uganda and IDPs from northern
Sudan. This number accelerated during the
referendum period.
To deal with the process of return, the Government
of South Sudan is supported by international
organizations such as the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United
Nations (including OCHA, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF
and WFP). So far, these efforts have been primarily
focused on direct and basic needs such as food,
housing, health and education. The urgency of
the situation on the one hand, and the absence
of a fully elaborated and efficient institutional
and regulatory framework on the other, means
that environmental considerations have often
been overlooked.
Current signs of environmental mismanagement
and their consequences, such as riverbank
erosion, invasive species, pesticide
mismanagement, water and soil pollution, canal
sedimentation, irresponsible deforestation and
conflicts between resource users, plainly call for
the development and implementation of policies
addressing these issues.
2.2 envIRonment ISSueS
A problem analysis of the current environmental
trends in South Sudan reveals a complex
relationship between causes and consequences.
It shows chains of causal relations which are often
interconnected and frequently result in cumulative
effects. Root causes of environmental degradation
are: (a) an increasing number of people depending
on the same resource base, limited in space and
quantity, (b) the globalization of economy and
culture resulting in increasing export of resources
in response to increasing demand in other
parts of the world, (c) the need to generate cash
income for households accelerated by changing
consumption patterns, (d) insecurity complicating
control, and (e) insufficient means and capacities
for environmental governance.
At present the main threats to the environment in
South Sudan are:
Decreasing water levels of rivers due to
(upstream) land use changes and water
management interventions such as forest
clearing, dams, irrigation, over-grazing and
fires resulting in increased evaporation and
decreased infiltration;
Decreasing and irregular rainfall due to climate
change as a result of external factors (global
warming) and local environmental changes
such as deforestation and wetlands drainage
modifying albedo and precipitation (Charney
et al., 1977)
leading to decreased agricultural
production, among other consequences;
Soil degradation due to unsustainable and
expanding agriculture as well as poor bushfire
management, leading to degrading ecosystem
services and competition with other forms of
land use;
Habitat degradation and fragmentation due
to increasing livestock grazing as well as
unsustainable and expanding agriculture,
leading to degrading ecosystem services and
competition with other forms of land use;
In the 1970s, experiments in the Negev desert in Israel showed that reduction of vegetation due to grazing and fire leads
to higher reflection of solar radiation (albedo) which results in decreasing rainfall. Protection of a large area over a longer
period resulted in increased rainfall.
Habitat degradation and fragmentation due
to infrastructure and settlement development
not providing for mitigation of environmental
threats, leading to degrading ecosystem
Soil, air and water pollution due to industrial
and agricultural practices not providing for
mitigation of environmental impacts;
Declining biodiversity due to habitat
degradation and increased (illegal) exploitation
Resource depletion due to increasing and
unsustainable land use resulting from
population increase and immigration/
resettlement (e.g. timber, charcoal, NTFP,
bushmeat, water, land).
2.3 envIRonment, SocIAl conFlIctS
And GoveRnAnce
Environment and social conflicts are interlinked
through access to resources by different social
groups. Conflicts often result often in weakened
governance and the breakdown of structures
maintaining sustainable natural resources
management (UNEP, 2007). However, in turn,
degrading ecosystem services cause friction
between competing forms of land use and
competition for resources within land use sectors,
which often leads to social conflicts and instability.
The keys to the solution of such conflicts are:
Transparency with regard to costs and benefits
of resource utilization;
Thorough understanding of long term impacts
of unsustainable resource use;
Agreement on the allocation of land and
Achievement of sustainable use.
2.4 nAtuRAl ReSouRceS mAnAGement
The process leading to the establishment of the
Republic of South Sudan has been characterized by
a dynamic history with numerous conflicts related
to power, culture and access to land and resources.
Challenges for the Government in the near future
Managing the consequences of an increasing
demand for water to satisfy the needs of
irrigation and hydropower in South Sudan and
further downstream in Sudan and Egypt;
Matching increasing resource requirements
(e.g. food, fuel) in the context of current
shortages and a fast-growing population;
Controlling land use conflicts to ensure fair and
sustainable resource utilization;
Mitigating pressure on the environment due
to increasing industrialization, infrastructure
development and intensifying land use;
Regulating sustainable resource management
in the context of intensifying international
trade and globalisation;
Adapting to climate change to cope with risks
with regard to resource requirements and
environmental sustainability;
The formation of a new state is a great opportunity
to create an optimal institutional regulatory setting
to deal with these issues. The Government of South
Sudan is currently in the process of establishing
institutions, policies and legislation in an effort to
address sustainable development, natural resources
management and environmental issues.
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
Heavily degraded Balanites-Acacia forest
due to charcoal production, Upper Nile State
FIGuRe 1: Mean annual rainfall zones in South Sudan
3.1 BAckGRound
South Sudan is in the middle of a transition
process leading to the organisation of the State,
which started with the CPA. During this time
the people of South Sudan are trying to find
their place in the evolution of their new country.
For some of them, this means securing their
immediate livelihoods. For others it is a time to
start working on the future, which could mean a
career in the Government or private sector. The
social upheavals during the war (and also the
preceding colonial period) disrupted the status
quo with regard to access to land, resources and
power, resulting in a complex situation.
In most of South Sudan, the socio-geographical
map has been dramatically altered by the
movements of significant numbers of people
fleeing from the war and the return of people after
the signing of the CPA. Many people have spent a
considerable period, if not all, of their lives, outside
South Sudan as internally displaced people
(IDPs) or refugees. Different groups of “citizens of
South Sudan” may be distinguished and various
classifications can be applied according to, among
other factors, social role, ethnic background,
livelihood or history. In the following sections, a
simplified classification of stakeholder categories
has been made, using various distinguishing
characteristics. However, the categories are not
exclusive and people can belong to one or more
categories at the same time.
3.2 GoveRnment
The formation of a new state involves developing
the administration at all levels – national, state,
county, payam, and boma – requiring recruitment
of considerable numbers of new staff. As a result, a
new elite is being formed. This process is actively
supported by international agencies increasing
opportunities for training and access to ‘new
technology’ and other advantages. Presently,
the institutional, policy and legal framework of
the new State is being formed and this is further
addressed in Chapter 4. A major challenge for the
Government in the near future will be to keep the
focus on working towards a better and sustainable
future for the country and all its citizens, and
to keep individual administrators away from
the temptations that may be posed by private
investors to orient decisions in their advantage,
or even to use their position for their own profit.
To cope with this challenge, the Government has
established an Anti-Corruption Commission.
3.3 tRAdItIonAl AuthoRItIeS
Traditional authorities still play an important role
in South Sudanese society that should not be
overlooked. The traditional system often has three
levels: local chiefs, paramount chiefs and king/
sultan. Traditional authorities play a role in various
fields such as social-related legal issues. They also
enforce traditional regulations on resource use.
Examples include the obligation to return any
small fish caught to the water, regulations for the
use of forest fires, and the protection of certain
wildlife and tree species such as the ostrich and the
Balanites tree. Traditional authorities collect fines
from trespassers and taxes from resource users,
such as pastoralists using their territory for the
grazing of livestock.
3.4 PRIvAte SectoR
International and national private investors and
entrepreneurs form an essential pillar of the
development of the South Sudan’s economy and
future prospects. The wealth of natural resources in
the country has attracted the attention of an array
of sectors, such as oil, agriculture, construction,
hydro-power and tourism. More will certainly
follow, considering the growing global demand for
Generally, investors and entrepreneurs focus
on the breaking even of their investments and
the generation of profits in relation to financial
risks, rather than on sustainability. Investors
and entrepreneurs target usually maximum
profit and expansion of their own activity. Often
they are not concerned about the costs of their
business borne by other sectors or individuals.
This is considered to be the responsibility of the
Government. Mechanisms to promote responsible
entrepreneurship such as certification and codes
of conduct, which urge companies to comply with
social and environmental norms, have not yet been
developed for the private sector of South Sudan.
3.5 IdPS, RetuRneeS
After their return, most returnees were received
in camps spread as much as possible across
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
South Sudan. The Government and international
organizations provide food and other facilities
such as water, health clinics and schools. Camps
are usually located near state or county capitals
offering employment to some of the returnees.
Presently, at the level of communities, a distinction
can be made between people who (a) did not move
during the war (residents), (b) people who left their
homes and came back to their villages after the war,
and (c) those who left and temporarily returned to
South Sudan but settled elsewhere, temporarily or
Being used to ‘urban life’ and easy access to social
facilities and food, many returnees were not very
eager to return to the rural conditions of the
villages where their parents grew up. In fact, many
of these villages were partly or entirely destroyed.
They are often in remote locations, and options
for social and economic development are limited.
The Government has also been allocating land that
was nationalized by the Government of Sudan in
the 1970s. Other returnees have resettled in larger
urban areas but have obtained plots for cultivation
in the surrounding rural area. This requires a daily
commute but allows them to access urban services
and amenities and may prove a valuable investment
if land prices around growing urban areas rise in the
future (Table 1).
A case was reported in Aweil where the state
government wanted to move IDPs to their native
villages, where their land can provide livelihood
opportunities. After their refusal, and the rejection
of the suggestion to force people to the villages,
10,000 plots were allocated near the town of Aweil.
A forested area of close to 10 km
has been cleared
for this purpose and 60 boreholes will be drilled
to accommodate 40-50,000 people. However,
the area does not provide land for cultivation or
other employment opportunities. Moreover, some
government staff suggested that the extensive
support provided by international aid organizations
to IDPs may be creating ‘dependency syndrome’
and even a ‘lost generation.’
3.6 FISheRS
Fishing is not very developed in South Sudan and
it is not associated to specific tribes. Generally, it is
believed that fish as a resource is underutilized in
South Sudan. Simple fishing techniques are used,
such as gillnets, throw nets and hooks. Women
in the north are using baskets to catch fish in
stagnating pools. Fish traps and related fish dams
Status does not cultivate cultivates
IDP/refugee 73.6% 26.4%
Resident 20.8% 79.2%
Returnee 53.2% 46.8%
total 24.7% 75.3%
tABle 1: Cultivation by residential status in 2009 (FAO, 2009)
© UNDP/Ferdinand von Habsburg
which are being used neighbouring countries are
not being used in South Sudan.
On the Nile and in the Sudd wetlands fishers from
Sudan operate with fast boats. Fishers are not
licensed and not taxed, but fish retailers are taxed
when selling fish on the market. In Nyamlel, there is
a fishers’ association which has established a social
security system based on the regular contributions
of members.
3.7 cultIvAtoRS
Most of the rural population practise cultivation.
In the northern part of the country, sorghum,
sesame and groundnuts are the principal crops.
Many farmers have little access to inputs such as
improved seeds, fertilizer and pesticides. Micro
credit systems have not yet been developed.
Farmers reported they are suffering from a changing
climate. In the last decade, the rainy season has
started late and for several years planting of crops
has begun one to two months later than in the past.
In addition, rainy seasons also are tending to be
shorter and sometimes interrupted, which results
in an early harvest before crops are fully grown.
Adapting to climate change could be achieved by
establishing small dams to improve irrigation and
by promoting animal traction to prepare land for
cultivation which would enable a quicker response
to rains than if it is done by manual labour.
3.8 lIveStock keePeRS
Livestock-rearing may be categorized according
to three systems: (a) nomadic, based largely on
herding of cattle, camels, sheep and goats in the
semi-arid north (e.g. Misseriya); (b) semi-nomadic
agro-pastoralism, combining the herding of cattle
and some sheep with cultivation (Dinka, Nuer);
and (c) a sedentary system, where cattle and small
livestock are reared in close proximity to villages
(UNEP, 2007).
The number of cattle is high (Table 4) and
Urbanisation patterns
around Wau, WBG
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
rangelands are considered to be overstocked. The
production of livestock products (milk, butter, meat
and hides), however, is low. Livestock is mainly
perceived as a store of value by many livestock
keepers, particularly the nomadic and semi-
nomadic. For example, during an interview, two
herdsmen with 10 cattle coming from the cattle
market in Aweil and going to their village beyond
Marial Bai, declared that they just bought this herd
because they received money from a relative, and
they did not want to keep the amount in cash.
3.9 uRBAn PoPulAtIon
The urban population consists of a diversity of
different socio-economic categories, among which
the principal groups are (a) people working for the
Government, (b) small business entrepreneurs, (c)
labourers, (d) people without jobs and (e) IDP and
returnees, who often have no land and no job, but
many of them create or find more or less temporary
occupations such as charcoal burning (men) or
growing and selling vegetables (women). Usually
there is also an elite, related to the government or
private sector (or both).
Urban people require resources such as water,
fuel and food. On average they have more to
spend than rural people and hence the level
of consumption is generally higher. Moreover,
consumption is not so much determined by the
availability of resources, but more by the level
of income in relation to commodity prices.
3.10 locAl nGoS And cBoS
The local NGO sector is not yet very well developed.
Many local NGOs have political links or have
been established to create access to subsidies. In
Northern Bahr el Ghazal, we met two NGOs that
were established by individuals. One of them was
associated with an international NGO (Concern
Worldwide), which gives financial and operational
stability. ‘Basic’ CBOs are present in the form of user
group associations. An important motivation for
such associations is to share risks and costs.
3.11 InteRnAtIonAl nGoS And donoRS
A large spectrum of international organizations
(both inter-governmental and non-governmental)
are present in South Sudan, many of whom started
their operations following the signing of the CPA
or even more recently. Presently, many service
gaps are filled by these organizations. These
organizations focus very much on meeting primary
needs such as food, health and shelter of IDPs, as
well as on capacity building to enable the different
government agencies to fulfil their tasks. The risk of
emphasizing capacity building without assuring a
clear link with policy implementation and service
delivery is that all government staff’s capacity is
absorbed by learning rather than doing. Moreover,
coordination is required to avoid conflicting
approaches and duplication of work.
Sheep and goat herding on the
way to Lofi, Eastern Equatoria
Cultivated land is bare and prone to flooding
and erosion during the dry season (NBG)
4.1 RelevAnt InStItutIonS
4.1.1 Government agencies
South Sudan has five administrative levels, namely:
(1) national level, (2) state, (3) county, (4) payam
and (5) boma. At both national and state level
ministries are established, and below that the
administrations have departments or units for the
various sectors. Before South Sudan’s
independence, the Government of Southern
Sudan (GOSS) had the following ministries
working on issues related to the environment:
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Ministry of Environment
Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning
Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
Ministry of Roads and Transport
Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries
Ministry of Energy and Mining
Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Ministry of Wildlife and Tourism
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
The information on functions of these ministries
extracted from the Government website (www.
goss.org) is presented in Appendix 4. Ministries
directly involved in sectors such as agriculture,
animal resources, fisheries, forestry, wildlife, water
and mining of course play an important role in
natural resources management. In addition,
ministries responsible for finance, rural
development, physical planning and road
infrastructure have an important role to play in
assuring effective management of natural
resources and the environment.
Ministry of Environment
The Ministry of Environment is responsible for
the development and implementation of
environmental policy and legislation, performing
the following functions and duties:
Develop and execute policies and
programmes on environmental protection
and conservation throughout South
Establish the Government’s environmental
policy and monitor its effectiveness and
Create programmes, in collaboration with
other ministries, for the control of
environmental degradation and control of
Develop Environmental Impact
Assessment standard methodologies and
procedures for Government development
policies and for private sector investment;
Advise and support states and local
governments in their responsibilities for
environment and build their capacity to
assume all functions vested by the
Constitution and Government policy;
Advise and support states and local
governments in their responsibilities for
environmental protection and build their
capacity to assume all functions vested by
the Constitution and Government policy.
At the level of the states and local governments,
environmental governance has not yet been
shaped. Only a few states have environmental
directorates attached to one of their ministries. In
Eastern Equatoria, the Directorate of Environment
is part of the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife
and Tourism. An interesting structure in that state
is the Environmental Task Force, which is
composed of representatives of all state line
ministries. Its role is joint planning of natural
resources issues, and it meets monthly according
to the Directorate of Environment.
Land Commission
The Land Commission is an independent agency
within the Government, responsible for the
management of land, involving issues such as
ownership, registration, conflict resolution and
development of policy and legislation in this
regard. It is a crucial entity for the coordination of
management of the environment as well as of
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
natural resources. The commission has a
partnership with UN-HABITAT. The Land Act 2009
lays out an institutional arrangement for land
management at the lower administrative levels,
but this has not yet been put in place.
4.1.2 Natural resource management and
environment working groups
To support coordination of policy development and
technical support two working groups have been
established, the Natural Resources Management
Group and the Environment Cluster Group.
Natural Resources Management Group
The mission of the Natural Resource Management
Group (NRMG) is to ensure holistic and integrated
management of South Sudan’s natural resources for
sustainable development. The NRMG is currently
formed of seven Government ministries and the
South Sudan Land Commission:
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Ministry of Energy and Mining
Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries
Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural
Ministry of Wildlife Conservation
and Tourism
Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning
Ministry of Environment
South Sudan Land Commission
Demonstration of fuel efficient
stoves in Magwi, Eastern
Equatoria State, South Sudan
Environment Cluster Group
The Environment Cluster Group (ECG), formed of
development partners including UN agencies and
NGOs, was established to assist the Ministry of
Environment in identifying and addressing
significant environmental issues in South Sudan,
and ensure that the Ministry of Environment is
effective in coordinating its development partners
through knowledge sharing, formation of
partnerships, and provision of collaborative
support. The ECG creates an opportunity for
development partners to provide a coordinated
approach in support of the Government that
enable joint activities to be taken in identifying
solutions to existing and newly emerging
environmental issues.
4.2 PolIcy And ReGulAtIonS
4.2.1 General framework
The current fundamental policy framework is the
Interim Constitution of South Sudan. Since the
signing of the CPA, policies and legislation
developed under the Government of Sudan in
Khartoum were gradually replaced and renewed by
the Government of Southern Sudan and now by
the Government of South Sudan. However, most
are now in the final consultation and approval
phase and have draft status (Appendix 6). Generally,
draft versions are considered as confidential and
therefore not available for review. Policies and
legislation at lower levels follow after those at
national level and therefore an analysis of the lower
administrative levels is even more restricted.
4.2.2 South Sudan Development Plan
The main guiding document for the development
of the country is the South Sudan Development
Plan (SSDP) which addresses conflict management,
poverty reduction and economic development.
One of the goals of the document is to strive for less
dependence on oil. The Government’s role is not to
undertake economic activities itself, but to create
an enabling environment for economic
development by assuring peace, security, rule of
law, macroeconomic stability, basic infrastructure
and effective tax administration (GOSS, 2011).
The SSDP is structured through four ‘Pillars’, namely:
(1) governance, (2) economic development, (3)
social and human development, and (4) conflict
prevention and security. Within these pillars, cross
cutting issues are defined as (1) anti-corruption, (2)
capacity development, (3) environment, (4) gender,
(5) HIV and AIDS, (6) youth, and (7) human rights.
Under the Governance Pillar, the Government’s
role is to:
ensure that development is sustainable
through enforcing environmental and social
impact assessments for all development
programmes and projects
accede to and ratify applicable and
beneficial multilateral environmental
treaties, conventions and agreements
promote inclusive participation, access to
information and good governance in
sustainable natural resources management
and environmental protection.
The Economic Development Pillar covers the
following priority programme areas: (a) agriculture
and forestry, (b) roads and road transport
development, (c) development of energy, mineral
and mining sectors (including oil), (d) animal
resources and fisheries, and (e) Water resources
management, development, utilisation and
provision of sanitation services. Environmental
sustainability of economic development and related
activities including oil extraction, logging and
charcoal production is to be ensured. The use of
environmental impact assessments (EIAs) is required
for infrastructure and power supply development.
The Social and Human Development Pillar
envisages environmental awareness-raising of
children, and improved health and sanitation
facilities focusing particularly on the youth. A
national early warning system will be developed to
reduce risks of disasters.
The Conflict Prevention and Security Pillar will
ensure environmental awareness-raising of
disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
(DDR) participants as well as the requirement of
EIAs for all major construction projects.
The following additions are recommended to be
included in the SSDP:
Explicit mention of climate change,
adaptation strategies, and risks of
climate change to livelihood, security
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
and economic development in the
Governance Pillar;
Mechanisms for the mainstreaming of
environmental sustainability into
development policies (e.g. SEA) in the
Governance Pillar;
Integrated land and resource use planning
in Governance and/or Economic
Development Pillar;
Green energy promotion and carbon
reduction should be included in the
Economic Development Pillar;
Discussion of the risk of land grabbing and
excessive deforestation associated with
the investment-eager policy of the
Economic Development Pillar;
Awareness-raising in the Social and Human
Development Pillar should
address adults as well as children;
Attitudes towards littering the environment
should be addressed through awareness-
creation initiatives under the Social and
Human Development Pillar (this is a very
wide problem which starts with throwing
plastic bottles everywhere and ends with
dumping toxic products without feeling
any responsibility).
4.2.3 Environmental Policy and the Environment
Protection Bill
The South Sudan National Environmental Policy has
been drafted to achieve sustainable development
in light of the following factors (draft January 2010):
The upcoming huge investment and
development activities following the
attainment of comprehensive peace in the
Emerging environmental management
challenges pertaining to diversion of land use
systems, urban sprawl, oil exploration in the
Sudd wetlands, loss of biodiversity, waste
management and others;
Ineffective environmental governance due to
inadequate institutional capacity and limited
government budgetary allocation for
The need to harmonize the environmental legal
frameworks with sectoral legislation and
The need to decentralize and devolve
management of the environment to the lowest
levels of government within the framework of
the federal system of rule;
The current state of environmental degradation
as manifested in widespread pollution by the
oil industry, increasing loss of biodiversity due
to over-exploitation of forests, inadequate
environmental sanitation associated with urban
sprawl, and desert encroachment southwards;
Lack of reliable information and data on the
environment and limited research capacity.
The policy is based on the following principles:
good governance, sustainable development,
prevention, subsidiarity, the precautionary
principle, scientific knowledge, skills and expertise,
and ‘The Polluter Pays’. The policy gives guidance to
all relevant sectors: agriculture, biodiversity, energy,
fisheries, forestry, health, human settlements,
industry, livestock, mining, oil, roads, tourism,
transportation, water and sanitation. It emphasizes
the importance of carrying out Environmental
Impact Assessments (EIAs) in relation to any activity
that may affect the environment.
The arrangements required for the implementation
of the environmental policy are elaborated in the
Environmental Protection Bill 2010. Relevant in
relation to this EIRO assessment are the following
The establishment of the South Sudan
National Environmental Authority (Article 8);
The arrangements for the integration and
mainstreaming of the environmental policy
in line ministries and lower level
governments through Environmental
Liaison Units and State Environmental
Committees and Local Environmental
Committees (Articles 23-27);
The elaboration and implementation of the
5-yearly Environmental Action Plan (Article 28);
The implementation of EIA, EIS,
Fisherman at Lol River
near Nyamlell, NBG
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
environmental audits and monitoring
(Articles 29-33);
Land use planning (Article 42);
The protection of wetlands, lakes, rivers,
hilly and mountainous areas, biodiversity,
forests, rangelands, natural heritage and the
ozone layer (Articles 43-55).
4.2.4 The Land Act 2009
The Land Act was enacted in 2009 and it is another
crucial legal document in relation to sustainable
environmental management. The Land Act
classifies land as (a) communal, (b) public, or (c)
private land. Only South Sudanese citizens can
own land, but foreigners can lease land. The
document defines rights and restrictions of land
users and owners. The Land Commission
supervises the application of the Land Act and its
institutional set-up at the different administrative
levels is elaborated in the Act. The Act prescribes
EIA for investment projects, but there are no
elaborate provisions for land use planning such as
land use categories or planning and allocation
procedures. A Land Policy is still under
development and it will include some
amendments to the Land Act.
4.3 PolIcy GAPS
4.3.1 Policy implementation
The South Sudan National Environmental Policy
and Environmental Bill form an excellent basis for
sustainable environmental management of the
country covering practically all required issues. The
challenge, however, will be to make it work. The Bill
is well elaborated, but it refers to a long lists of tasks
to be accomplished before it can actually be fully
The completion of orders, regulations,
standards, criteria, measures, mapping,
registers, and prescriptions as mentioned
in the Bill;
The establishment of institutional capacity,
regulations and commitment at the lower
administrative levels (Environmental Liaison
Units and State Environmental Committees
and Local Environmental Committees);
Realization of capacity (including financial
resources) for monitoring and law
One of the most crucial threats in the immediate
future is that the Environmental Bill has not yet
been endorsed, so investments and development
affecting the environment continue without being
assessed and guided. As the originating and
coordinating body for the Environmental Bill, the
Ministry of Environment (MOE) is tasked with
presenting the Bill to the Council of Ministers for
endorsement. It is of paramount importance that
an immediate and concerted effort is made by the
MOE to have the Bill endorsed.
4.3.2 Integrated policy development
Most sectoral policies within the field of natural
resources management are very sector-oriented.
The environment is recognized by several policies
and the SSDP as a factor to take into account
through awareness-raising and the
implementation of EIA. Several policies such as the
Electric Power Policy, explicitly mention the
importance of EIAs. However, generally land and
natural resources are regarded only from the
perspective of how they are interact with each
sector, instead of being considered as a common
asset to be managed by the sectors jointly to
achieve a wise, fair and sustainable development
of the country’s wealth for all. As a result, each
sector devolves a part or all the cost of its
development to other sectors. Examples are (a)
charcoal burners destroying resources for livestock
keepers and NTFP collectors, (b) livestock keepers
burning tree seedlings of future forest users, (c)
dam builders degrading floodplains of livestock
keepers and fishers, etc.
The effectiveness of an EIA to achieve integrated
development has limitations. An EIA is effective for
the correction of project plans and the mitigation
of its expected negative effects. However, it does
not optimize resource use strategies and policies
taking all sectors into account in an integrated
way. The tools used to realize integrated policy
development leading to sustainable natural
resources management and climate change
adaptation and mitigation are the Strategic
Environmental Assessment (SEA) or Strategic
Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA).
4.3.3 Integrated resource management
Land use planning and a resource use based
system for revenue collection are effective
mechanisms to make integrated policies work.
The former is a mechanism to assure a fair, wise
and sustainable allocation of resources to all
stakeholders, the latter is a system for monitoring,
feedback and the provision of funding of
maintenance (e.g. monitoring and protection).
Land use planning is basically addressed by the
Environmental Bill, but not by the current Land
Act 2009.
The concept of Community Based Natural
Resource Management (CBNRM), which is
becoming widely applied globally, has not yet
been used in South Sudan. This concept is
particularly effective to facilitate the involvement
of local communities in the management of
restricted use areas, such as protected areas,
forest reserves, buffer zones and corridors. A
successful application in the East African region
of this approach was in the Masai Mara Reserve in
Kenya. In view of the large wildlife areas to be
managed in both the east and west of the
country, the development of this approach could
be beneficial for both communities and
government agencies responsible for resource
protection. This approach also fits in well in a
decentralized governance model.
Indirectly linked to resource-use planning are
urbanization, migration and population growth.
Although the SSDP deals extensively with health
and the large proportion of the population that
needs to be educated, there is no reference to
population policy.
4.3.4 Halting degradation
All policies related to natural resources
management should address the impact on
vegetation, soils and climate of vegetation
degradation and destruction due to charcoal
production, fuel wood collection, livestock
overstocking, (human made) forest fires and
clearing for mechanized agriculture. Forest
plantations are very useful to release the pressure
from natural forests and to obtain forest products
that satisfy specific needs. However, they is no
long-term (nor a cheap) solution to degradation.
Planted forests tend, in the long term, to become
vulnerable to phyto-parasites, which may cause
mass die-off. Examples of this exist in pine forests
in southern Africa and Europe. In many countries,
(e.g. Carpathian and Alpine countries) foresters
have started natural regeneration in mono-
species forests to cope with this problem. In fact,
the best and only long-term option is proper fire
management, maintaining livestock numbers
and forest exploitation at sustainable levels. An
interesting experiment was carried out in the
1970s in the Negev desert in Israel when a vast
semi-desert area was fenced to exclude livestock.
After several years, green natural vegetation
settled and stabilized and even higher rainfall
was measured.
Dealing with the livestock problem is a
challenge in a country where this sector has
such a prominent place in society and the
economy. However, with the current numbers,
addressing this issue is unavoidable. A good
suggestion in the National Adaptation
Programme of Action (NAPA) 2007 was to shift
from goats to sheep, but further thinking is
required to transform the livestock sector into
one having less impact on the environment and
contributing more to the economy, without
losing all of its cultural importance.
The most urgent gap in the current policies is the
absence of an elaborate fire policy. Fire is costing
South Sudan a great deal in terms of reduced
forest production and consequences of climate
change. West African Sahel and Sudan zone
countries (e.g. Senegal, Burkina Faso and Ghana)
have recorded significant achievements by
developing and implementing effective wild fire
policies. Such policies would be applicable in
South Sudan as the climatic conditions and
general land use are comparable.
The Environmental Policy and Bill provide a good
starting point for the protection of water,
catchment areas and slopes. These measures
urgently need to be mainstreamed and
implemented at the lower administrative levels.
4.3.5 Climate change adaptation
The Environmental Bill addresses the protection of
the ozone layer, but neither the Environmental
Policy nor the SSDP mentions climate change
adaptation as urgent. The NAPA, prepared by the
Government of National Unity in 2007, specifies
adaptation measures to be applied in the field of
agriculture, water and health.
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
Major adaptation activities and needs with regards
to agriculture:
Community-based forest and rangeland
management and rehabilitation;
Replacement of household goat herds
with sheep herds to reduce pressure on
fragile rangelands;
Lessening of pressure on local forests
through use of mud brick building design
and alternative energy sources;
Land use conversion from agricultural
activities to livestock raising;
Strengthening of agricultural and veterinary
extension services, including demonstration;
Introduction of drought-resistant seed
varieties, poultry and fish production;
Afforestation of areas denuded of trees
for building construction and firewood;
Drought early warning systems for disaster
Extension services in agricultural capacity
strengthening for small scale farmers;
Protection and rehabilitation of rangelands,
including construction of shelterbelts to
reduce windstorm impacts.
Water intake in Juba on the Nile river bank to supply
returning citizens with water, Central Equatoria State
Major adaptation activities and needs with regards
to agriculture:
Introduction of new water harvesting/
spreading techniques making use of
intermediate technologies;
Promotion of greater use of effective,
traditional water conservation practices;
Rehabilitation of existing dams as well
as improvements in water basin
infrastructure for increased water storage
capacity, particularly in central and western
regions of South Sudan;
Construction of dams and water storage
facilities in some of the water valleys,
particularly in the western region of South
Introduction of water-conserving
agricultural land management practices;
Improvement of access to groundwater
supplies by humans and animals though
installation of water pumps;
Enhancement of capabilities of regional
meteorological stations to monitor hydro-
climatic variables;
Introduction of a revolving micro-credit
fund to support implementation of small
water harvesting projects;
Extension services in to strengthen capacity
in water capture and storage techniques
among small-scale farmers.
Major adaptation activities and needs with regards
to health:
Improved community sanitation and
medical services, including capacities
for diagnosis and treatment;
Building of community awareness regarding
preventative measures for malaria,
meningitis, and leishmaniasis;
Introduction of preventive measures
to restrict malaria transmission such
as mosquito nets, treatment/drying up
of breeding sites;
Introduction of early disease diagnosis and
treatment programmes for malaria,
meningitis, and leishmaniasis;
Improvement of irrigation system
management so as to reduce breeding sites;
Provision of alternative water supply
systems for domestic use that do not involve
open standing water areas.
It is recommended that South Sudan join the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change and that climate change adaptation are
Sale of thatching grass, fuel wood and charcoal
and Ikotos market, Eastern Equatoria
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
mainstreamed in its policies based on a National
Adaptation Programme of Action for South Sudan.
The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is an
effective tool to support the development of
climate adaptation programmes and policies.
4.3.6 Energy
The South Sudan National Electric Sector Policy
(‘the policy’) was approved in 2007. The policy is
very much geared towards diesel and
hydropower. The policy envisages a parastatal
status for the main producer, the South Sudan
Electricity Corporation (SSEC), supervised by the
Government and investors. Since 2005, electricity
production powered by diesel has expanded
significantly and now covers the towns of Bor,
Kapoeta, Juba, Malakal, Maridi, Rumbek, Wau,
Yambio and Yei with more planned for Aweil,
Bentiu, Kwajok, Malakal and Torit (Figure 4). The
policy aims at the development of an extensive
power network to allow fewer but larger power
plants to satisfy needs.
The policy strives also for diversification and
sustainable energy generation. To this end, the
feasibility of eight hydropower dams is being
investigated (Juba barrage, Due, Kinyeti, Bedden,
Fula, Lakki and Shukolli). Moreover, a tender is
running for the construction of a 50 MW power
plant generated by municipal waste and biomass
gasification funded by an European Union (EU)
loan. There is also interest in the use of solar
power and the Ministry of Energy and Mining is
currently studying an offer for streetlights
powered by solar power. However, no feasibility
studies have been carried with regard to solar
and wind energy, despite the country’s potential
for those resources (Afrepen, 2011).
The policy does not address other household
energy needs. Charcoal and fuel wood are
considered as issues to be dealt with by the
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. An effective
policy for charcoal and fuel wood management is
badly needed. Currently, these resources are
essentially considered as ‘free resources’ that can
be used without limitation, resulting in
accelerating depletion with deforestation,
erosion and climate change as side effects.
electRIc PoweR GeneRAtIon (MW)
FIGuRe 1: Increasing diesel-powered electricity production in South Sudan’s main cities by the SSEC (source: Min. Energy & Mining,
Department of Energy)
5.1 methodoloGy And AvAIlABIlIty
oF dAtA
Field data on natural resources and ecosystem
services are very scarce in South Sudan due to the
long period of war, during which data collection
stalled and during which existing data sources
were also lost. Moreover, the focus of many studies
and data sets was on northern Sudan.
To quantify impacts of land use and environmental
changes such as climate change, it is necessary
to gather data over extended time intervals,
preferably spanning several decades. Data series
derived from spatial analysis are very useful for
this purpose, but such information could only
be collected on a few occasions. However, the
Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment
(UNEP, 2007) contains some maps on land cover
changes in different areas of Sudan, indicating
locally a dramatic shift from woodland and forest
to cultivated and bare land.
Most of the information on impacts and risks in
this chapter is obtained from existing assessments
and publications. Further information was
obtained by interviews with a wide variety of
stakeholders (Appendix 1). In some cases, data
sets were provided by Government agencies and
processed with statistical analysis procedures
(SPSS). Where possible, graphs were used
to visualize trends. Additional information,
particularly on ecosystem dynamics, was used
from scientific publications reporting research
in other but comparable areas. As much as
possible crosschecking and triangulation was
done between different information sources. As a
result of the variable availability of information,
the level of the presented results and conclusions
varies per section.
At the end of this chapter a figure is presented
giving a summary of all impacts recorded
(Figure 14).
5.2 clImAte
Climate is mainly determined by water and
temperature. The National Adaptation Plan of
Action (HCENR, 2007), which was prepared for
the entire Sudan before South Sudan became
independent, predicts rising temperatures
and a decrease in rainfall having significant
consequences for agriculture, water and health:
Climate scenario analyses conducted as part
of the preparation of Sudan’s First National
Communications indicate that average temperatures
are expected to rise significantly relative to baseline
expectations. By 2060, projected warming ranges
from 1.5
C to 3.1
C during August to between 1.1
to 2.1
C during the month of January. Projections
of rainfall under climate change conditions also
shows sharp deviations from baseline expectations.
Results from some of the models show average
rainfall decrease of about 6 mm/month during the
rainy season. Such changes in temperatures and
precipitation will adversely affect sustaining the
development progress that has achieved in many
sectors in Sudan. The three highest priority sectors
where urgent and immediate action is needed were
identified through the NAPA consultation process to
be agriculture, water, and public health (Figure 5).
For South Sudan, no specific climate change
scenario models have been found, but generally
expectations are based on regional trends.
According to various sources (Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Water and
Irrigation) climate change in South Sudan is
manifested through:
Duration and timing of rain becoming erratic,
rainy season delayed and shorter;
Some areas receiving generally less rain, water
tables dropping;
The desert expanding southward.
Rainfall data for South Sudan are scarcely
available. The FAO SISFIA project managed to
collect data from 1980 onwards from different
rainfall stations and apart from that some
additional data were collected from other
sources by the assessment team. These data do
not show a clear change in annual rainfall (Figure
6). Data on monthly rainfall in Malakal (Ministry
of Agriculture and Forestry, Upper Nile) do
however show a trend of delayed and shortening
rainy seasons over time (Figure 7). An even longer
period of data from Aweil (Ministry of Agriculture
and Forestry, Northern Bahr el Ghazal) shows a
similar trend (Figure 8) and, moreover, a tendency
towards an earlier finish to the rains, resulting in
a more drastic shortening of the rainy season.
These trends were confirmed by different sources
in Upper Nile and Northern Bahr el Ghazal at
government level and in the field by farmers.
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
1961-90 2060
Yield (kg/hectare)
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
annual rainfall (mm)
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000
annual rainfall (mm)
1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
annual rainfall (mm)
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
annual rainfall (mm)
1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
annual rainfall (mm)
FIGuRe 5: Projected yields for all Sudan (north
and South Sudan) with climate change showing
decreasing harvests in the future due to climate
change (source: results of Sudan’s First National
Communication under the UNFCCC, 2003)
FIGuRe 6: Annual rainfall measured at El Renk, Juba, Malakal, Raga and Aweil meteorological stations in South Sudan from 1975
to 2010 showing no clear trend of annual rainfall decrease but significant fluctuations of from year to year (sources - El Renk, Juba
and Raga: FAO Juba; Malakal: Upper Nile State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Aweil: Northern Bahr el Ghazal State Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry)
JAn FeB mAR APR mAy Jun Jul AuG SeP oct nov dec
no dAtA
JAn FeB mAR APR mAy Jun Jul AuG SeP oct nov dec
FIGuRe 8: Months with over 20mm rainfall (indicated as dashed) in Aweil in the period 1975 – 2010, indicating a trend of delayed and
shortened rainy seasons (source: Northern Bahr el Ghazal State Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries)
FIGuRe 7: Months with over 20mm rainfall (indicated as dashed) in Malakal in the period 1990 – 2010, indicating a trend of delayed
and shortened rainy season (source: Upper Nile State Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries)
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
5.3 wAteR
Most of South Sudan is covered by the Bahr el
Ghazal, Nile and Sobat River catchments which join
at their confluents near Malakal to form the White
Nile (Mohamed et al., 2004, Mohamed et al., 2005;
Sutcliffe & Parks, 1989). The Sobat River and even
more so the Bahr el Ghazal river catchments have a
strong seasonal character in contrast with the Nile,
which finds its origin in various climatic zones and
whose hydrological dynamics are also toned down
by the lake systems in East Africa. The Sudd wetlands
between Bor and Malakal have a similar effect, as
per other African wetlands such as the Niger Inner
Delta, the Senegal Delta and the Okavango Delta
(Sutcliffe & Parks 1989). Remarkable, however, is
the dramatic increase of the Wetlands due to heavy
rains in Congo and East Africa in the 1960s and
1970s (Sutcliffe & Parks, 1987). At present, flooding
is close to the limits it had during the first half of the
twentieth century, but there is generally a trend of
decreasing flooding.
5.3.1 The Sudd wetland and Jonglei canal
In the Sudd and Bahr el Ghazal wetlands, water
stagnates and a high proportion evaporates.
However, the evaporated water is not lost from the
system as it is partly recycled in the form of rain
and it contributes to an increase of the air moisture
index, which results in a reduction of evaporation
in the dry season (Mohamed et al., 2005). Plans to
complete the Jonglei Canal – draining part of the
Sudd swamps in order to increase the quantity
of water available for hydropower and irrigation
downstream – are therefore expected to have a
negative effect on the climate in South Sudan.
Apart from this, a dramatic impact is to be expected
on wildlife, livestock and fish, as dry season feed
supply for wildlife and livestock will decrease due to
reduced flooding, and wet season spawning areas
for many fish species will also decrease.
1895 1910 1925 1940 1955 1970 1985 2000
flood extent Sudd (km2 x 1000)
FIGuRe 9: Annual maximum flooded area of the Sudd marches since 1895 showing sudden increase of the flooded area in the 1960s
due to a number of years with high rainfall in the Great Lakes region during that period, and the gradual decrease in flooding since then
due to decreasing rains and increasing water utilisation upstream (Sutcliffe & Parks, 1987)
Discharge of sewer into Nile River
at Malakal, Upper Nile State
Natural resources management and climate change in South Sudan
5.3.2 Disappearing rivers
Rivers coming from the plateau along the border
with the Central African Republic are drying up. A
number of rivers that were reported to have been
permanent rivers in the past have become seasonal
in the last two decades. This applies to rivers such
as the Kir, Lol, Jur, Gal and Peyia. This phenomenon
has been confirmed in interviews with several
older people in the region. The decrease of water
flow in the river is most likely related both to land
use (forest clearing, overgrazing and forest fire
accelerating erosion and siltation) and climate
change (less rainfall and higher evaporation).
The siltation in the river has increased, causing
congestion of irrigation channels and a drop in
the water table in riverbeds. Furthermore, swamp
areas are decreasing and trees have been reported
as dying in some areas due to lack of water.
The ecological impact of rivers changing from
perennial to seasonal is significant and so are the
consequences for livelihoods. There is a significant
change in water quality, particularly at the onset
of the rains. Many migratory fish species will
disappear, and only fish which can survive in
stagnating dry season ponds or in the mud will
survive. Fishermen in Nyamlel fishing in river Lol
reported that they suspect that five species have
disappeared from their river out of the 15 species
they know, and the size of fish they caught has
also decreased. Mudfish (Protopterus aethiopicus)
could reach a length of 1.5 metres in the past but
nowadays the fishermen are catching specimens
which are a maximum of 0.5 metres in length.
More factors may play a role here, but over-fishing
is most probably not one of them as the fishing in
these rivers is quite limited and simple techniques
are being used.
5.3.3 Water pollution
Water pollution is increasing due to the increasing
concentration of people in urban areas and
the use of an increasing number of chemical
and toxic products (UNEP, 2007). In Malakal, for
example, it was observed not only that the open
sewer discharged directly into the River Nile,
but also waste water from a hospital and run-
off from the electricity power plant, which was
obviously seriously polluted with oil. In Wau,
a slaughterhouse was visited whose drainage
discharged into a nearby wetland, but a new
slaughterhouse is being constructed.
5.3.4 Oil exploitation
Oil pollution is a very serious risk, particularly in
wetlands. From various persons who managed
to visit the oil exploitation sites in Abyei, Unity
State and Upper Nile State, it was understood
that oil pollution around these sites is visible (see
also Cooper & Catterson, 2007 and GoSS, 2010).
However, these sites were then under the control
of the Khartoum Government and the Government
of Southern Sudan generally had no access and
no control. It was therefore impossible to monitor
the level of respect paid to the environment by the
oil companies. Cooper and Catterson (2007) state:
“The areas in Unity and Upper Nile currently yielding
petroleum are dotted with small ponds created near
the well heads to hold the “produced water” that
typically comes out of the ground from the oil wells.
Produced water is produced with the oil, often with high
concentrations of chemicals, minerals or mixed with oil,
and frequently at high temperatures. The high amounts
of the contaminants (salts or chlorides, hydrocarbons,
well treatment chemicals, oil separation and water
treatment chemicals) can reach toxic concentrations
that will pollute the surrounding areas or waters if
dispersed directly into them (Exxon Mobil 2000). They
are currently being stockpiled in man-made ponds
adjacent to the drilling sites where the expectation is
that they will be disposed of by evaporation over time.”
Some other risks of oil exploitation mentioned in
the same report are:
Oil spills causing contamination at
exploration/production facilities and
around pipelines;
Disruptions to the local hydrology (of
various types and magnitudes and with
varying collateral adverse socio-
environmental impacts);
Contamination as a result of disposal and
release of produced water;
Disposal and release of hazardous materials
used in drilling;
Pollution from human waste, solid waste
from oil camps and/or fuel and lubricants
associated with mechanized equipment;
Species and habitat loss from increased
accessibility to otherwise remote areas,
especially within the swamps of the Sudd.
5.4 nAtuRAl FoReSt
The FAO Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2010,
(Table 5, and Table 6) estimates the current annual
loss for forests and other wooded land in South
Sudan at 277,630 hectares. The rate of forestation
is determined by the national and foreign demand
for tree products. It is likely that deforestation
(without significant improvement of protection)
increases at least proportionally with the number
of national consumers, but probably much faster
due to accelerated deforestation for the reasons
explained in the following sections. The number
of consumers increases as a result of immigration,
natural population growth and the extension of the
market (e.g. to Kenya, Uganda and Sudan) due to
the reduction of transport barriers (Figure 10). The
factors playing an important role in deforestation
are explained in the following sections.
5.4.1 Clearing for cultivation
The most important factor responsible for total
forest clearing is cultivation. The average small-
scale farming household uses 0.4 to 1 hectares
of land for the cultivation of subsistence crops.
However, the total area under cultivation in South
Sudan is still low. It may be expected that the
cultivated area will increase proportionally with
the increasing population and, in the longer term
when agricultural mechanization becomes more
common, even more.
Since the security situation has been improving,