Climate and non-climate stressors have a significant influence on the status and evolution of Gambia’s natural endowments. Climate change and variability in particular, best exemplified by a negative step trend in rainfall in the late 1960s, and persisting into the present, has placed tremendous pressure on natural resources and ecosystems.
Sectoral adaptation options prioritized according to relative merit are integrated into project concepts including those that address the impairment of ecosystem goods and services and the amplification of adverse effects of climate change by human factors.
Located between 13 and 14ºN and between 13.7 and 17ºW, the Gambia, occupies a land area of 10,690 sq. km making it the smallest country in mainland Africa. A sliver of land 15 to 80 km wide, extending more than 400 km from the Atlantic Ocean, the country is dissected into northern and southern areas by the River Gambia which runs from East to West and debouches into the Atlantic Ocean.
With nearly 50 per cent of its total land area under 20 metres above mean sea level, one-third at or below 10 metres above sea level, and 10 to 20 per cent seasonally or diurnally flooded, The Gambia has little pronounced topographic features to boast of (see Figure 2). Indeed, its low elevation puts some areas of the country such as the capital city of Banjul at significant risk from sea level rise.
Supporting developing countries to integrate the agricultural sectors into National Adaptation Plans: The Gambia
The agriculture sectors in the Gambia heavily feature subsistence farming, mostly of cereals, and the farming of cash crops, such as groundnuts and cotton. Crop production employs roughly 70 percent of the population and generates 33 percent of GDP. The country is highly susceptible to sea-level rise, which could cause major damage to the country’s important coastal economic development assets. The Gambia has been working to formulate a comprehensive transformational adaptation plan. The country’s long-term adaptation priorities are being included in a NAP while short to medium-term priorities are being added to the Low Emissions Climate Resilient Development Strategy (LECRDS) and National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). In addition, climate change adaptation priorities will be mainstreamed into national agriculture and livestock policies, plans and programmes.
The United Nation agencies in The Gambia (Food and Agriculture Organisation –FAO- and United Nations Development Programme –UNDP-) Tuesday launched the National Adaptation Plan to fight climate change through agriculture support. Funded by German Federal Ministry for environment, nature conservation building and nuclear safety, the programme is being implemented in 11 developing countries. Minister of agriculture Omar Jallow said at the launching that Gambia’s economy is thriving on agriculture that has a key role in poverty reduction and food security. “There is a need to intensify production to meet the food demands of the growing population and to reduce greenhouse gases from the agriculture section,” he noted. He said as climate change impacts agriculture, which also hinders rural development, the availability of technical information on emerging risks, vulnerabilities and adaptation to agriculture in the context of ecosystem and landscapes affect developing countries. Minister Jallow said the integration agriculture based adaptation plan requires effective institutional framework that will promote inter-sectoral and national coordination to address climate change that lies within related ministries. “Strengthening technical capacities and intuitions on NAPs in agriculture, environment and planning, finance, meteorological agencies, disaster management authorities and local governments to mainstream climate change risk in the agricultural sector is important.” Mariatou Fatou Njie from FAO declared that agriculture holds successful achieved objectives in the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on climate change which, she said plays a crucial role in the livelihood of hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers and rural communities worldwide. Ade Mamanyane Lekoetje, UNDP country representative opined that climate change poses serious challenge to key national economic sectors due to change in rainfall pattern. She said The Gambia has strived in formulating comprehensive transformational adaptation priorities identified in low emissions climate resilient development strategy aiming to integrate climate change related to agriculture-based livelihood within exiting national planning and budgeting processes.
Related Publications and Documents
This project brief gives an overview of the project, and details Issues, Actions, and Expected Impacts.
This project brief gives an overview of the project, and details Issues, Actions, and Expected Impacts.
Status of assistance to the Gambia for their NAP process:
The Government of The Gambia participated a side event in COP 21 on 'Adaptation Finance: what countries can do to scale up adaptation finance' on 3rd December 2015. Alpha Jallow (The Gambia, UNFCCC Focal Point) described the enabling framework in the Gambia and mentioned the goal to mobilize internal funds through taxation as well as international climate funds.
- The Department of Water, Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources of the Government of The Gambia together with NAP-GSP teamed up for a national NAP planning meeting, a stock-taking and development of a NAP roadmap for Gambia.
- The National NAP stakeholder workshop was conducted from 17 - 19 June 2015. With more than thirty participants attending, the two days workshop covers modules such as climate information for vulnerability assessment and mainstreaming adaptation into development planning. The road map takes into account on-going investments and planning initiatives that are contributing towards the NAP process.
- The Government of the Gambia has identified several potential areas that could add value for strengthening the mainstreaming of ongoing climate adaptation into ongoing planning processes through the NAP process. These would build upon the foundation laid out in relevant initiatives, such as the Programme for Accelerated Growth (PAGE) which includes climate change in priority areas, such as in the Agriculture and Natural Resources sectors and Education.
- The Gambia is in the process of forming a national NAP team composed of 12 institutions.
Potential areas for value added identified by the government:
- Address climate information gaps, and also to enhance capacity for key stakeholders in government to use and update this climate information data for mainstreaming adaptation into national and sectoral planning;
- Undertake vulnerability mappings in sectors and cross-cutting areas;
- Appraise and prioritization of sectoral options;
- A review of institutional arrangements for promoting the integration of climate Change policies priorities into budgetary and expenditure management;
- A review of the integration of climate change objectives within the budgetary process, including as part of budget planning, implementation, expenditure management and financing;
- NAP stock-taking and preparation of a road-map;
- Laying the ground for a Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR).
Previous NAP-related activities and updates
- In July 2013, the Government of the Gambia requested support on conducting a Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) to help inform its National Adaptation Plan process.
- UNDP is continuing to discuss with the development of CPEIR for Gambia, with a view to informing policy discussions on how best to integrate climate change risks into national planning and budgeting.
- The results of the CPEIR is expected to support the Gambia with national efforts related to the implementation of green, low-emission and climate-resilient development strategies (Green LECRDS), and advance the development of a successful NAP for the Gambia.
The EWS project in Gambia responds directly to the priorities and actions identified in the NAPA of Gambia. The NAPA articulates the need for securing, transferring and installing critical technologies, as well as developing the necessary systems for climate change-related information to permeate into decision-making processes. The technologies required to achieve these aims will increase the capacity of the national early warning network to forewarn and rapidly respond to extreme climate events. The NAPA clearly identifies a priority project on Early Warning Systems (EWS) along with projects associated with Food security, Coastal Zones, Energy, Health, Water resources and Terrestrial ecosystems.
This project is fully in line with LDCF/SCCF focal area objective 2: Increase adaptive capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change, including variability, at local, national, regional and global level, and also objective 3: Promote transfer and adoption of adaptation technology. The project is specifically aligned with outcomes linked to these objectives including increased knowledge and understanding of climate variability and change-induced risks at country level and in targeted vulnerable areas, strengthened adaptive capacity to reduce risks to climate-induced economic losses, successful demonstration, deployment, and transfer of relevant adaptation technology in targeted areas and enhanced enabling environment to support adaptation related technology transfer.
For updates on UNDP Early Warning Systems and Climate Resilient Development projects in Africa, visit the UNDP-EWS Africa Blog.
Many countries in Africa suffer from low rates of development. In particular, Gambia is in the lowest 20% of countries worldwide, ranked by both Gross National Income (GNI per capita) and the 2011 United Nations Human Development Index (ranked 168 out of 187 countries). These countries are particularly vulnerable to climate-related shocks (either to the economy or to unprotected populations), which threaten to undo years of development assistance and asset accumulation, especially within poor populations. One way to help mitigate the impact of these climate-related shocks is to warn populations, businesses and governments in advance of an impending or likely damaging event through an Early Warning System (EWS).
The fundamental problem in many LDC countries such as Gambia is that a complete EWS, which generates knowledge of the risks (vulnerability & hazard), has capacity to monitor, analyze and forecast hazards, provides communication and dissemination of alerts and warnings, either does not exist or does not function as well as it ought to be relevant and useful for long-term planning, management and risk reduction activities. In the Gambia, this status unnecessarily imperils lives and assets, recently for flood victims nationwide and for farmers suffering from drought impacts on cereal production. Reasons for this situation involve a lack of both hard and soft technologies and the capacity to utilise those technologies in an appropriate manner. This results in: i) a limited understanding of current and future risks; ii) limited monitoring and forecasting of climate-related hazards; iii) inappropriate communication and packaging of warnings; iv) restricted responses to impending disasters and v) constrained planning for slow-onset changes due to climate change that will require a transformational shift in economic development and risk reduction efforts. The infrastructure and technology on which to build a fully operational EWS for the Gambia including these services cannot be fully met from the existing GOTG/GEF/UNEP Project on the development of an effective national early warning system which has set the foundations for a EWS in the Gambia. An assessment of needs for EWS in the Gambia under the above project shows that the current GEF/LDCF funding is inadequate to provide the required ints to calculate these statistics from observations). Statistically significant trends in historical rainfall indicate decreases during the main rainy season from July to September. Future projections of rainfall also suggest a likely decrease in rainfall during the June to September period, though maximum daily rainfalls are likely to increase.
These hazardous events often lead to impacts on food security and health such as those seen recently5. Whereas flooding due to heavy rainfall over a short period of time has wreaked havoc in both urban and rural (river basins/watersheds) environments, with attendant impacts on health and the spread of disease4. Whilst the upswing in deaths attributed to floods in recent years may largely be due to population dynamics, many deaths can be avoided with sufficient early warning. These risks and associated losses are expected to increase in some regions due to the increased availability of atmospheric moisture and intensity of rainfall in the future.
Severe weather, associated with convective weather, atmospheric heating and moisture, will likely increase in many regions and can result in increases in rain, hail and winds, all of which are damaging to crops and infrastructure. Sea level rise is a problem for many low lying coastal areas, such as Banjul, where large populations often assemble and the slow and steady rise of mean sea level results in more frequent flooding and coastal erosion. Rises in temperature which affects all regions, results in an increase in the frequency of heat waves and extremely hot days/nights, which in turn affect the health of humans, ecosystems and urban environments.
Changes in the above climate-related hazards will negatively affect a range of sectors. Of particular concern is the agricultural sector which is an important component of the economy absp;
Project Objective: To strengthen the climate monitoring capabilities, early warning systems and available information for responding to climate shocks and planning adaptation to climate change in Gambia.
Component 1: Infrastructure, technologies, equipment and human resources requirements to enable EWS functionality and sustainability
- Outcome 1.1: The Gambia National Meteorological Services is transformed into a full-fledged Meteorological Agency
- Output 1.1.2: Communication equipment and technologies procured and installed at the Meteorological Agency to enable data and information archiving and dissemination with regional centres and the Central Forecast Office
- Output 1.1.1: All the Administrative and Technical Units of the National Meteorological Services are centralized at one location in Banjul International Airport
- Outcome 1.2: Hydro-meteorological infrastructure is installed that will cover the full needs for 'optimal performance of EWS' as identified by recent needs assessment reports in the Gambia
- Output 1.2.1: The infrastructure of the existing meteorological and hydrological networks are upgraded to meet the required operational standard of the Early Warning System
- Output 1.2.2: A network of 5 Pilot balloon/upper air stations is developed and operational
- Output 1.2.3: A Marine Meteorological Station Network is developed and operational
- Output 1.2.4: Institutionalize the monitoring and recording of and reporting on wildlife and biodiversity species diversity and spatial variability
- Output 1.2.5: The national water quality monitoring and reporting system is upgraded and operational
- Outcome 1.3: Optimum critical mass of human resources is put in place for the operation of the Gambia Early Warning System beyond the Pilot project
- Output 1.3.1: The critical mass of human capital and capacity required for the establishment of the appropriate climate and climate change early warning systems is developed
Component 2: Climate information integrated into development plans and early warning systems
- Outcome 2.1: Efficient and effective use of hydro-meteorological and environmental information for making early warnings and long-term development plans
- Output 2.1.1: Baseline studies under the 1st Phase of the EWS are updated to determine sector-specific user needs and develop tailored sector-specific early warning products
- Output 2.1.2: National capacity for assimilating forecasts and mainstreaming them into existing development planning is built
- Output 2.1.3: Communication channels, strategies and procedures for issuing climate change early warning products are enabled
- Output 2.1.4: Plan for sustainable financing of the operation and maintenance of the installed EWS developed and implemented
Project Inception Workshop: will be held within the first 2 months of project start with those with assigned roles in the project organization structure, UNDP country office and where appropriate/feasible regional technical policy and programme advisors as well as other stakeholders. The Inception Workshop is crucial to building ownership for the project results and to plan the first year annual work plan.
Day to day monitoring of implementation progress: will be the responsibility of the Project Manager, based on the project's Annual Work Plan and its indicators, with overall guidance from the Project Director. The Project Team will inform the UNDP-CO of any delays or difficulties faced during implementation so that the appropriate support or corrective measures can be adopted in a timely and remedial fashion.
Project Progress Reports (PPR): quarterly reports will be assembled based on the information recorded and monitored in the UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform. Risk analysis will be logged and regularly updated in ATLAS.
Annual Project Review/Project Implementation Reports (APR/PIR): This key report is prepared to monitor progress made since project start and in particular for the previous reporting period (30 June to 1 July). The APR/PIR combines both UNDP and GEF reporting requirements.
Periodic Monitoring through Site Visits:
UNDP CO and the UNDP RCU will conduct visits to project sites based on the agreed schedule in the project's Inception Report/Annual Work Plan to assess first hand project progress. Other members of the Project Board may also join these visits. A Field Visit Report/BTOR will be prepared by the CO and UNDP RCU and will be circulated no less than one month after the visit to the project team and Project Board members.
Mid-Term of Project Cycle:
Mid-Term Evaluation: will determine progress being made toward the achievement of outcomes and will identify course correction if needed. It will focus on the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of project implementation; will highlight issues requiring decisions and actions; and will present-Disposition: form-data; name="field_project_monitoring[und][format]" full_html
The project, 'Enhancing Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Areas and Communities to Climate Change in the Republic of Gambia', will restore and maintain 2,500 ha of the mangroves forests of Tanbi Wetlands (of which 177,285 Gambian depends directly or indirectly on their economic activities, its buffer zones, sewage sinks and coastal stabilization roles), the North Bank, Western and lower river regions through a co-management approach to act as an additional buffer against climate-induced pressures in coastal areas. These mangroves will directly complement hard physical measures designed to project lowland rice growing and economic investment in coastal areas (fish landing sites, hotels) and will be planned an implemented alongside these hard measures through participatory planning
Also, climate resilient wetland and fisheries management strategies (such as resilient fisheries and wetland management plans, custom rules for wetland access and exploitation, community monitoring of fisheries quotas,) will be introduced and transferred to vulnerable communities in at least 20 wards in the Lower ans Central Valleys.
Project Brief / Fact Sheet
The project objective is to reduce Gambia’s vulnerability to sea-level rise and associated impacts of climate change by improving coastal defenses and enhancing adaptive capacities of coastal communities.
Outcome 1: Climate change vulnerability of development activities and investments in coastal areas reduced through the design and construction of coastal protection measures
This outcome will finance additional investments in hard and soft coastal protection measures to help maintain critical economic infrastructure, as well as key livelihood activities, in the face of sea level rise and coastal degradation.
Outcome 2: Rural livelihoods in the coastal zone enhanced and protected from the impacts of climate change through the demonstration and the transfer of successful coastal adaptation technologies and the introduction of economic diversification
This outcome will finance the demonstration and the transfer to communities Climate resilient wetland and fisheries management and planning methods