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Climate change
Ms. Elizabeth Effah
Research Theme Lead

Development Challenges

Climate change represents a major threat to coastal ecosystems and communities. In many areas around the Africa‘s coast, the combined projected threats of sea level rise, increased temperatures and reduced rainfall have placed unprecedented stress on species, ecosystems and human settlements and industries. Accelerated coastal erosion, loss of land and property, flooding, saltwater intrusion, shifts in the distribution and abundance of valuable marine habitats, species and biodiversity, and the accelerated spread of exotic and invasive species are major issues resulting from the impacts of climate change.

Given the foregoing impacts, countries of the sub-region have begun to educate and raise the level of public discussion through the formulation of a national policies and adaptation and mitigation strategies. There is the need for downscaled scenarios for hazards and climate change adaptation planning and research to help examine full range of impacts on the various sectors. There is also the need for in depth studies to fill in the gaps as a basis for informed decisions for development and policy planning in coastal areas of Africa, especially in low-lying communities confronted with climate-induced disasters leading to forced migration, social inequalities and exclusion.

Objectives

  • Evaluate the impact of climate variability and change on marine and coastal resources along the coast of Western and Central Africa
  • Evaluate changes in climate by analysis of anomaly trends for temperature, rainfall, wind velocity and relative humidity
  • Analyze the perceptions/indigenous knowledge on the causes, changes and impact of climate induced risk of inhabitants along the coasts
  • Assess the impacts of climatic variability on livelihoods in coastal communities along the Western and Central Africa
  • Assess the impact of climate change on critical ecosystems and fish productivity

Research Areas

  • Socio-economic impacts of climate change
  • Vulnerability assessment of coastal communities.
  • Impact of climate change on coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Gender and social equity in climate change
  • Climate change and coastal pollution

Expected Outcomes

  • Strategies for coastal adaptation and resilience developed
  • Improved knowledge on climate change issues in coastal West Africa
  • Enhanced regional cooperation on climate change and coastal research
  • Improved communication on climate change and coastal degradation issues