Climate Services

Climate services research group contributes to holistic climate change research at the CSIR. It serves as an important link with industry, as it undertakes directed climate change research that supports sectoral and integrative climate change responses with tangible impacts for low-carbon, resilient industries and development across southern Africa.

 Specifically, the group provides analysis of climate change risks, climate change impacts and potential responses to climate change across sectors. Services and products provided include crop modelling, species distribution modelling, agro-hydrological modelling, greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, low-emission strategies, resource constraints trade-offs, and reporting on progress towards meeting the country’s commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The group uses decision-support tools and information and communication technologies such as  spatial information systems, geographical information systems, web mapping systems dynamics and remote sensing. The group works in various sectors, including human health, biodiversity, water, energy, human settlements, agriculture, transport and Industrial processes and product use.

The key research and solutions provided to the market include investigations, assessments, trade-off analysis, decision-making support, policy formulation and planning in the following areas:

  • Climate change impact studies for industries and key socioeconomic sectors: Climate change projections are used in high-resolution impact models (such as water and agriculture, and in urban-rural areas) to understand the risks and vulnerabilities facing the industry/sector to develop targeted adaptation strategies. Tailor-made information products using the climate data are used to generate support for climate science communication and dissemination (climate services), especially in a data and technology constrained environment.
  • GHG emission inventories and carbon modelling: The group provides support to industries and government in developing a complete and transparent GHG emissions inventory that could be used as a basis for developing GHG trajectories and identifying key mitigation options. Furthermore, the group produces detailed estimates of land use impacts on terrestrial carbon stocks. This information is important to municipalities and farmers as they can use it in the future as part of their response strategies to carbon accounting and proposed carbon taxes.
  • Climate change co-benefits and technology prioritisation: The group considers the assessment and prioritisation of technologies related to climate change as an integral step in supporting synergistic adaptation and mitigation responses. This is because such information highlights co-benefits (such as environmental benefits, reduction in GHG emissions, improved livelihoods) in terms of the planning and implementation of climate responses.
  • Monitoring and reporting of climate change interventions: The group supports the understanding of the impact of the country’s role in contributing to achieving the Paris Agreement and the extent to which these actions translate into environmental and socioeconomic transformations that support sustainable development in the country.         


Projects of interest: The group manages an array of programmes that include the water-energy-food nexus (WEF); landscape restoration, which focuses on nature-based solutions for climate, biodiversity and people; and the just transition. The group responds to client-specific needs using cutting-edge technological innovation and solutions.

Illustration of WEF projects
Illustration of WEF projects


Illustration of nature-based solutions for climate, biodiversity and environment


Dr Shingirirai Savious Mutanga