What we set out to do
Climate change is deeply affecting the African continent. Food and water security, livelihoods, shelter, and health are all at risk. Widespread poverty, fragile ecosystems, weak institutions, and other issues compound the challenges.
The Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program was created to help build African expertise on adaptation, to meet the needs of African communities, decision-makers, and institutions.
Our goal: to reduce climate change vulnerability in Africa. We focused on achieving the following key objectives:
What we’ve achieved so far
- strengthen the capacity of African scientists, organizations, decision-makers, and others to contribute to climate-change adaptation
- support adaptation by rural and urban people, particularly the most vulnerable, through action research
- generate a better, shared understanding of the scientific findings on climate variability and change
- inform policy processes with good-quality, science-based knowledge.
Our efforts are still underway, but to date, we can point to the following results:
- 87% of projects we’ve supported have been led by African organizations.
- We’ve funded two phases of the African Climate Change Fellowships Program. During phase 1, 45 African scholars and professionals completed graduate level research on climate change adaptation.
- The AfricaAdapt network was created to help researchers, policymakers, and civil society organizations share knowledge on climate change and adaptation. Over 80% of registered network members are from African countries. Read more on Phase 2 of AfricaAdapt.
- Research teams have produced a wealth of knowledge to guide adaptation in a variety of formats for different audiences. These include scientific papers, theses, conference presentations, policy briefs, audio-visual materials, and more. As of March 31, 2011, teams had produced 447 outputs.
- 11 CCAA partners, staff members, and associates were selected as authors and lead authors on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report.
What difference are we making? African researchers are better equipped to help their societies prepare for a changing climate. Decision-makers are seeing the value of working with vulnerable groups to pinpoint risks and possible solutions. And communities working with researchers have identified options to protect their livelihoods and make them more resilient in the face of uncertainty. For example:
- In Western Kenya and in Tanzania’s Same district, authorities committed funds to sustain links between meteorological service providers and traditional weather forecasters, so farmers have better access to locally relevant climate information and advice.
- In Benin, an early warning system was developed with farmers in 35 of the country’s communes to better prepare for droughts and floods.
- Coastal zone management plans in Morocco’s northeast provinces were revised to take sea level rise into account and prepare for other effects of a changing climate. New recommendations aim to help those in agriculture, tourism, and fisheries face threats such as erosion, storm surges, rising water tables, and increasing levels of salt in soil and ground water.