São Tomé and Príncipe's Second National Communication - In Progress
The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.
São Tomé and Príncipe is rich in water resources and possesses a dense tropical forest; however, according to the December 2007 National Adaptation Programme of Action, those resources are being very badly managed, putting at risk the survival of the future generation and the country. In addition population growth presents serious challenges exacerbated further by climate change. In the last decade alone the population grew by approximately 70%, one of the fastest rates in the world. With limited natural resources, the increase of population in an economy dependent upon agriculture, specifically cocoa, creates pressures for clearing vital forest in order to expand crops and habitable land.
To view progress on São Tomé and Príncipe's SNC click here.
In São Tomé and Príncipe appropriate solutions for adaptation to climate change do exist. The country is rich in water resources and it possesses a dense tropical forest; however, according to the December 2007 National Adaptation Programme of Action, those resources are being very badly managed, putting at risk the survival of the future generation and the country.
In addition population growth presents serious challenges exacerbated further by climate change. In the last decade alone the population grew by approximately 70%, one of the fastest rates in the world. With limited natural resources, the increase of population in an economy dependent upon agriculture, specifically cocoa, creates pressures for clearing vital forest in order to expand crops and habitable land.
Following the selection and prioritisation of options, adaptation measures for São Tomé and Príncipe have as their objective the improvement of life of the most vulnerable populations of country, endowing the capacity to minimize the disastrous effects of climate change and poverty reduction.
The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an archipelago constituted by two main islands and four islets, located in the Golf of Guinea, off of west central Africa.
The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe are respectively about 360 and 269 km off the Western coast of Africa continent. Príncipe is located 160 km to north of São Tomé. The area of the country is 1.001 km2, being 859 km2 for São Tomé island and 142 km2 for the island of Príncipe. The population is approximately 183,000 inhabitants in 2011. The population is essentially young, 79% with less than 35 years and is predominantly urban.
These islands present a humid tropical climate, with abundant rains almost the whole year, with the exception of the months of June to August, corresponding to the period of the "gravana", where a decrease of the precipitation and temperature are verified, with winds blowing from the south-southwest quadrant. Due to the characteristics of the relief, many micro-climates prevail, being observed above all in the highest parts, areas with high rainfall.
The country has considerable resources of superficial water, distributed in an irregular pattern in the whole territory, but with a predominance in the southern area that is the least inhabited. The temperatures are equally influenced by the relief, even though it has been recognized that important variations in the increase from the highest areas to the lowest ones. The humidity is also very high, and can reach at Lagoa Amélia an average of 92% during almost the whole year, and being less high in the areas of lower altitude, varying between 70 and 80% along the year.
Key Results and Outputs
- Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
- Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
- Measures contributing to addressing climate change
- Research and systematic observation
- Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
- Education, training and public awareness
Potential Adaptation Measures:
Agriculture and Food Security
- Educational & outreach activities to change management practices to those suited to climate change
- Switch to different cultivars
- Agricultural research and transfer of technology
- Develop new crops
- Improve pest and disease forecast and control
- Increase water supply, e.g. by using groundwater, building reservoirs, improving or stabilizing watershed management, desalination
- Decrease water demands, e.g. by increasing efficiency, reducing water losses, water recycling, changing irrigation practices
- Improve or develop water management
- Alter system operating rules, e.g. pricing policies, legislation
Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems
- Protect, including building sea walls, and beach nourishment
- Research/monitor the coastal ecosystem
Monitoring and Evaluation
In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.
Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.
The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.
Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.