Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa


  • DATE / TIME:
    2014•08•06 - 2014•08•07

    Background: Adaptation Strategies for Mitigating Impacts of Climate and Ecosystem Changes on Developing Societies.

    Coping with global climate and ecosystem changes requires developing countries with weak socioeconomic and resource management regimes to devise adaptation strategies. The project “Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa: an Integrated Approach” aims to develop integrated strategies to build a management base that is resilient to the changes and maintains certain socioeconomic and resource levels. Based on research into climate change events, ecosystems and governance in the underdeveloped, semi-arid northern region of Ghana, the project suggests that effective adaptation strategies involve addressing issues of rural development as well as floods and drought risk management along flat plains and the Black Volta River. These should in turn alleviate the economic disparity between the north and the rapidly growing south of Ghana.

    The project investigates the impact of climate and ecosystem changes on major crops through field surveys and modelling, and assesses impacts of the changes on agriculture and rural development and local capacity to cope with flooding and droughts. The research process will further lead to development of integrated strategies that enhance the resilience of farming communities in northern Ghana to climate and ecosystem changes and eminent disasters. These strategies will eventually crystallize into a “Ghana Model”, which will be applicable to semi-arid regions across Africa.

    Conference Topics (Tentative)

    This conference will present papers from researchers feeding into the current research focus of this collaborative project in Ghana and Japan. Suggested topics include the following thematic areas:

    Theme 1: Forecast and assessment of climate change impact on agroecosystem (Agroecosystem Resilience):

    • assessing impact on agricultural production/ecosystem
    • utilizing local knowledge/ technology/ species and variety in addressing climate change impacts
    • maintaining diverse ecosystem services
    • enhancing resilience – examples of successful interventions/approaches

    Theme 2: Risk assessment of extreme weather hazards and development of adaptive resource management methods (Engineering Resilience):

    • using existing resources more efficiently
    • educating local professionals/technical experts
    • suggesting the way forward in developing local resources in order to cope with increasing future demands

    Theme 3: Implementing capacity development programs for local communities and professionals (Social Institutions・Technical Capacity Development):

    • strengthening governance, technical capacity at local and national level
    • supporting self-help, cooperative organization, local empowerment
    • ensuring continuity of structures and processes developed during project implementataion phase
    • building local adaptation and capacity tools for enhanced resilience within communities

    University for Development Studies – Tamale Campus, P.O. Box TL 1350, Tamale, Ghana