- MINISTERE DE LA SALUBRITE, DE L’ENVIRONNEMENT ET DU DEVELOPPMEMENT DURABLE
Urban Communities in West-Africa are growing at unprecedented rates and it is estimated that 40% of the people living in Ghana and Cote d' Ivoire are settled in coastal zones, totalling more than 20 million people. Human Settlements are the hubs of economic activities but are also very vulnerable to Climate Change impacts, as they are home to large populations and key socio-economic infrastructure, especially vulnerable are the urban poor and low lying and coastal communities. The multiple climate change impacts on the coastal zone represents a significant risk to economy and people, especially to the most vulnerable whose livelihood relies mainly on natural resource-based activities. More specifically,climate related hazards include a projected one-meter rise in sea level that will result in regional land loss of 18,000 km2 along the West African coast . The combination of unplanned/unsustainable urban development patterns and the changing climate represents an added challenge with increased effects on the assets and livelihoods of urban residents. Urbanization, deforestation and loss of biodiversity in coastal regions exacerbate the already high risk and vulnerability of the coastal communities. The secretariat of the Abidjan Convention is working with the governments of Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to build the capacity in the region to more strategically address the building of climate resilience of those coastal communities, with a special focus on ecosystem-based adaptation solutions and community empowerment and projects.
One of those efforts is a specific project The present project on Improved Climate Resilience of Coastal Communities in Cote d' Ivoire and Ghana, and proposes to plan and implement spatial climate adaptation strategies to address the challenges posed by natural hazards (erosion, floods and sea level rise), in selected unplanned and inadequate coastal urban expansion areas that lack infrastructure and service provision in Ghana and Cote d' Ivoire (in 3 districts and 3 departments respectively). The project promotes a specific focus on resilient infrastructure planning, increased resilience for women and vulnerable populations, and land use efficiency for environmental preservation. Given the regional similarity of the climate hazards and vulnerabilities, working at the regional scale will allow an approach towards addressing the macro and micro dynamics of climate change impacts on the coastal communities. This regional scope will allow sufficient experience and conclusions for replication of successful solutions for climate change adaptation, in other coastal countries in West Africa.
The Governments of Ghana and Cote d' Ivoire are working with a number of partners, amogst them local governments, NGO's, and UN-Habitat to support coastal communities and cities to adapt to Climate Change and build resilience to coastal erosion. This project proposal is the result of these requests to ensure the continuation of the long engagement of UN-Habitat in Ghana and Cote d' Ivoire.