Climate Change Vulnerability: An Overview Assessment for West Africa
By Tetra Tech ARD
This brief outlines climate vulnerabilities for West Africa, broken down into three ecological zones, and gives recommendations on adaptation strategies.
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Climate models project that the Sahel region as a whole will see temperature rises that are greater than those for the coast. Many models show a slight increase in annual rainfall in the central Sahel but a slight decrease in the western part of the region. There could be delays in the onset of the rainy season, more frequent droughts and floods, and increased variability in intra-seasonal rainfall. This combined effect will tend to reduce water availability.
In the Sahel, temperature increases will be greater than for the coast. This combined with rainfall changes will reduce water availability, threatening agriculture. The brief urges better water management and research on livestock breeding and drought-tolerant crops.
In the coastal zone, threats include sea level rise and flooding. Migration of people to the coast is problematic due to these hazards. Investments here should focus on improved data and support for urban planning and integrated management.
And in the tropical inland zone, the biggest impact is rising temperatures. Investments are needed to improve the breeding and management of heat-resistant varieties of crops as well as climate-smart farming practices.
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