Building resilience to ecosystem change in Africa

  • 2011•09•08     Accra

    On 25 August 2011, UNU Vice-Rector Kazuhiko Takeuchi signed an agreement with partner institutions in Ghana on a new United Nations University project on climate and ecological change in semi-arid Africa.

    The signing ceremony followed a two-week-long visit to Ghana by Vice-Rector Takeuchi to discuss and finalize the framework of the initiative “Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa: An Integrated Approach”.

    This initiative is part of the Climate and Ecosystem Change Adaptation and Resilience Research (CECAR) Africa project, which aims to overcome the vulnerability to climate change of terrestrial ecosystems in developing countries, particularly in Africa. Multiple regions in the north of Ghana have already felt the severe impacts from climate and ecological change, in the forms of unpredictable flooding and droughts. The five-year (2011-2016) CECAR-Africa project will focus on:

    • forecasts and assessment of climate and ecosystem change impact on agrodiversity,
    • risk assessment of extreme weather hazards and development of adaptive resource management method, and
    • implementing capacity development programmes for local residents and professionals.

    During the visit to Ghana, a survey team from Japan and their local counterparts carried out extensive field surveys in drought- and flood-affected communities in the three northern regions of the country.

    Speaking at the project signing ceremony on 25 August, Vice-Rector Takeuchi, in his capacity as Principal Investigator of the project, expressed satisfaction with the initiative. He called upon all of the project partners to work relentlessly as a team, to help translate the outcome of the research into the everyday life of local community dwellers.

    The “Enhancing Resilience” initiative came in response to requests made by the Government of Ghana, under the umbrella of the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) funded by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

    The project will be implemented collaboratively by partner organization: UNU, the University of Tokyo, University of Ghana, Kyoto University, Ghana Meteorology Agency and University of Development Studies.

    Further information is available on the UNU-ISP website.