GCCA support project to the Gambia for integrated coastal zone management and the mainstreaming of climate change
The Gambia’s low-lying coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, including sea level rise, increased saline intrusion and flooding during torrential rains. Coastal areas are particularly vulnerable in view of the concentration of socioeconomic and cultural assets.
Coastal erosion on parts of the Atlantic coastline is a serious problem that will be exacerbated by sea level rise. In some areas, the beach has been retreating at a rate of 1-2 m per year, threatening tourism infrastructure and associated livelihoods. With a 1-metre increase in sea level, some 92 km² of land in The Gambia’s coastal zone would be inundated, with the entire capital city of Banjul at risk. Further inland, soil salinization in riparian areas resulting from sea level rise and saline intrusion is having negative impacts on farming.
"The Gambia government will not fail in its commitment to bring about and pursue relevant national programmes and projects necessary to help us confront the issue of climate change sufficiently."
Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice-President of The Gambia and Secretary of State for Women's Affairs, giving the keynote speech at The Gambia Climate Change Forum, 2008
Responding to climate change in coastal areas
Contribute to the capability of the government and people of The Gambia to adapt to increased climate variability and change.
- Strengthen national level capacity to plan for and respond to climate change impacts in coastal areas.
- Contribute to mainstreaming climate change into development planning.
Main expected results and activities:
A participatory and self-sustainable ICZM process is established.
To strengthen national level capacity to plan for and respond to climate change impacts in coastal areas, the GCCA supported the establishment of a participatory and self-sustainable integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) process. This includes establishing a Technical Working Group of key coastal actors and defining its working modalities; developing an agreed vision and objectives for the coast, on the basis of an assessment of coastal vulnerability and cost-benefit analysis; developing proposals for harmonization of sector policies in respect to ICZM and related climate change issues; and identifying specific options for future management of activities in coastal areas, some of which (such as the revision of the land use plan) may be implemented as part of the programme.
Priority coastal zone adaptation measures are identified.
A feasibility study was conducted for concrete coastal protection measures, looking at needs and options for the entire Atlantic coast and focusing on areas at risk. The study, conducted in the framework of the ICZM process, set the context for any major protection measures in the shoreline, and enabled an assessment of long-term cost implications. Viable alternatives to sand mining in coastal areas for use in the construction industry were identified.
Local-level capacity to adapt to climate change is strengthened.
Demonstration and research projects were supported in the following areas: (a) enhancing ecosystem and livelihood resilience to climate change and/or ecosystem rehabilitation in coastal zones; and (b) developing viable alternative processes to sand extraction for the construction industry. Interventions will promote the reinforcement of community-based organizations or village development committees, and the involvement of private actors.
The knowledge base for integrating climate change into key sectors is strengthened, and a national climate change policy is formulated.
Planned activities included the establishment of a working group to support climate change capacity building; the scoping of issues and studies to generate evidence; the analysis of sector needs and possible resource mobilization strategies; the definition of guiding principles and a roadmap to develop an overarching policy document; and the definition of a national climate change policy and facilitation of its validation.
Institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms for climate change are rationalized.
Planned activities included institutional analysis, and the development of recommendations for institutional arrangements; and the establishment of climate change-related inter-institutional coordination mechanisms.
Decision makers' climate change adaptation response capacity is strengthened.
Sensitization and training are planned on the relationship between climate change and development and on selected technical topics. This activity targeted policy makers and planners in key ministries and agencies, National Assembly members, and civil society representatives.
- Thematic working groups have been established and have started working on the mainstreaming of climate change into national policy
- A communication event to launch the project at national level was organized in May 2014
Trainings delivered include:
- A refresher training on Integrated Coastal Zone Management and climate change adaptation for 55 participants
- Coastal vulnerability assessment
- Coastal monitoring and information management
- The design of an Information Management System (IMS) for NEA to support ICZM decision-making was completed in March 2014. The essential hardware and was procured, and the oceanographic and biophysical monitoring surveys which will provide the geo-referenced datasets to populate the IMS are executed. On-the-job training for 7 NEA staff on biophysical monitoring techniques and preparation of a protocols reference manual was completed in November 2014
- Under a first Call for Proposals (CfP), 6 grant proposals from non-government organizations have been selected and approved for implementation. These projects focused on building climate change awareness and coastal community resilience
- Full operationalization of the Technical Working Groups
- A second call for proposals was launched, in the first semester of 2015
- A mid-term evaluation was implemented in 2015
- Final project evaluation is in progress
- Second phase of the project to address other pertinent issues