Climate change is likely to have a significant impact on West Africa, given its high level of exposure and low adaptive capacity, combined with additional natural and anthropogenic threats. Protected areas, which have long been recognized as an effective means to preserve biodiversity, are likely to be heavily affected, as well as the ecosystem services they provide to the local communities.
Funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF), this project focuses on assessing the resilience of protected areas to climate change in the West Africa region. The main aims of the project are to:
• Develop tools to assess the vulnerability of protected areas to climate change,
• Design strategies to strengthen the resilience of protected area systems to the impacts of climate change,
• Build capacity for using these tools and strategies, and
• Conduct pilot projects to test the tools developed, including policy implementation support.
The project focuses on 5 core countries: Mali, Sierra Leone, Chad, The Gambia, and Togo; and an additional 3 countries will participate in the activities related to transboundary conservation (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana).
To achieve these aims, the project will require significant support from all its partners at the national, regional, and international level. IUCN Central and West Africa Protected Areas Programme (PAPACO) is the key regional partner, who will assist in the implementation of the project in the region. The following international partners will be involved: Durham University, IUCN Species Programme, BirdLife International, DICE (University of Kent), and the Hadley Centre (UK Met Office).
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