Introducing the regional diagnostic study for West Africa

START is pleased to announce the release of a regional study on climate change in West Africa. This study is in support of the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Region (ASSAR) project funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) through the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA).The study was undertaken through a partnership between START, the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) at the University of Ghana, and the International Centre for Research in the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Bamako, Mali. It aims to develop a systematic understanding of existing knowledge of climate change trends, impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation strategies, as well as to identify important barriers to and enablers of effective adaptation in the West Africa drylands.

This study report represents the initial step in ASSAR West Africa’s efforts to understand and unpack the complexities of vulnerability and adaptation within a dynamic development context that includes population and demographic change, urbanization, land-use change, and advancing communication technologies. The approach taken by the West Africa team in developing this study will set the stage for in-depth research to begin in mid-2015. The study provides:

  • A description of the major socio-economic, governmental and environmental characteristics as they relate to the region’s extensive dryland areas.
  • Regional analysis of climate trends and projections.
  • Exploration of how important development dynamics interact with climate variability and change to amplify vulnerabilities in this region.
  • Examination of key gender and governance dimensions of vulnerability and adaptation.
  • Elaboration of how current risk management practices in agriculture link to climate change adaptation.
  • Synthesis of important barriers and enablers of adaptation and identification of knowledge gaps and needs with respect to adaptation planning.
ASSAR report cover - summary
ASSAR report cover - full report