Climate change poses significant risks for the developing world and particularly for the people of Africa and nearby islands. To reduce the risks, adaptations are needed in how livelihoods are pursued, how food is produced and distributed, how water and other resources are used and managed, how public health is protected, and how and where shelter and infrastructure are built. But who is vulnerable and needs to adapt? How urgently is adaptation needed? What are the options? Which promise to be most effective? Can adaptation be pursued without detracting from other objectives? What are the obstacles? How can they be overcome? What climate information is needed to understand future vulnerabilities and plan for adaptation?
These and other questions were the subject of a workshop held in Dakar on 24-27 March 2004. The Second AIACC Regional Workshop for Africa and Indian Ocean Islands brought together researchers from 12 assessments of the AIACC project in the region, other members of the African scientific community, representatives of government agencies, and various other stakeholders with interests in climate change adaptation. The workshop provided a rare and valuable forum for persons from across Africa to share knowledge, discuss common concerns, consider adaptation responses, and develop personal and institutional relationships that can form a basis for future collaborations.