Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in Guinea-Bissau

Project Overview

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working with the Government of Guinea-Bissau to ensure a new tranche of US$6 milion from the Global Environment Facility's Least Developed Countries Fund is used to improve climate services and early warning systems in this West African nation. The "Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in Guinea-Bissau" project will work to enhance the capacity of the National Hydro-Meteorological Services (NHMS) in Guinea-Bissau, ensure the effective use of weather and water information to make early warnings, mainstream climate change information into long-term development plans, and work toward ensuring the sustainability of investments in new climate services.

Expected Outcomes

Outcome 1 - Enhanced capacity of National Hydro-Meteorological Services (NHMS) and environmental institutions to monitor extreme weather and climate change. 

Outcome 2 - Efficient and effective use of hydro-meteorological and environmental information for making early warnings and mainstreaming climate change into  long-term development plans. 

Outcome 3 - Lessons learned by the project through participatory monitoring and evaluation, with special attention to gender mainstreaming, are made available to support the financial sustainability of the strategy.

Project Details

Levels of Intervention

National

Source of Funds

GEF-LDCF

Key Implementers

National Governments
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Funding Amounts

US$6 million (proposed GEF grant)
US$63 million (Government of Guinea Bissau proposed co-financing)

Project Partners

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
National Institute of Meteorology of Guinea-Bissau (INM-GB), General Directorates of Environment & Hydrology, Guinea Bissau Ports Authority, National Directorates of Fishing & Disaster Risks Management, Directorates of Infrastructure and Land Management

Introduction

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working with the Government of Guinea-Bissau to ensure a new tranche of US$6 milion from the Global Environment Facility's Least Developed Countries Fund is used to improve climate services and early warning systems in this West African nation. The "Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in Guinea-Bissau" project will work to enhance the capacity of the National Hydro-Meteorological Services (NHMS) in Guinea-Bissau, ensure the effective use of weather and water information to make early warnings, mainstream climate change information into long-term development plans, and work toward ensuring the sustainability of investments in new climate services.

Project Details

Guinea-Bissau consistently ranks among the most vulnerable countries in West Africa to climate change. The primary drivers of Guinea-Bissau’s climate vulnerability are physical exposure, dependence on agriculture and fishing. Guinea-Bissau is a rural country in which agriculture, forestry, fishing and livestock farming accounted for 49.1% of GDP in 2013. The economic wealth of Guinea-Bissau bases essentially in its natural capital.

Even by African standards, little industry exists in Guinea-Bissau. Most of the population (about 82 %) work as subsistence farmers in an agriculture sector that is undeveloped and is largely based on rudimentary technology. Furthermore, the agriculture sector is dominated by the cashew nut monoculture. Over the past three years, cashew nuts have dominated Guinea-Bissau’s agriculture and national exports. In 2013, cashew nut production generated 11.9% of the country’s GDP and cashew sales accounted for 87.7% of total exports. According to the World Food Programme, 80% of those living outside the city of Bissau currently make their living from cashew nuts, which they use to trade for rice and other staple products. This can lead to a crippling dependence on a single crop for entire communities, putting their livelihoods and even their ability to feed themselves at the mercy of the harvest and international cashew prices.

The fisheries also play a vital role for Guinea-Bissau’s government, with fees for fishing licenses providing 35% of government revenue. Climate change is predicted to have adverse effects on fisheries and fishing. Rising sea temperatures, changes in circulation, acidification and loss of nursery areas, are predicted to reduce fish populations. Meanwhile, in places with rich fisheries like Guinea-Bissau, the destruction of coral reefs and mangroves destroys fish spawning grounds, decreasing the availability of fish, limiting the livelihoods of fishermen, and leading to precarious food security.

Additionally, low-elevation coastal zones stand out as Guinea-Bissau’s indicator of physical vulnerability. Most of Guinea-Bissau’s terrain consists of coastal swamps and mangroves, and over 19% of its land area lies in areas less than 10 meters above sea level. Increased flooding and saltwater intrusion due to global sea level rise could potentially affect these areas. Climate change has already begun to affect coastal farmers through saltwater intrusion into their rice paddies. Because of this, farmers who can no longer grow rice have shifted into cashew production.

Like many of its West African neighbors, Guinea-Bissau faces rainy seasons and long dry seasons, with abrupt transitions. The West African monsoon that characterizes the region’s climate is less stable than its eastern counterpart, and long droughts such as those that affected the area during the 1970s and 1980s are possible. Northern Guinea-Bissau borders the Sahel region. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the long droughts that characterize the Sahel may be spreading to this region.

Guinea-Bissau is also subject to climate related disasters risk, such as floods, storms, droughts grasshopper blights, disease epidemics (cholera, meningitis, and malaria), and sea accidents due to increasing sea surges.

The cost of climate change and disasters is high in Guinea-Bissau. The cholera epidemic in 2008 affected 105,380 people with 3032 dead, the drought between 1987 and 2009 affected 132,000 people, floods affected 1,750 people in 2007, and tropical cyclones caused 2712 victims in 2009.

To allow Guinea-Bissau to better manage climate related challenges undermining economic growth and development, it is essential to address a number of pressing challenges. These include the needs to: enhance capacity of hydro-meteorological services and networks for predicting climatic events and associated risks; develop a more effective, efficient and targeted delivery of climate information including early warnings to both planners as well as communities living on the fringes of climate induced pressures; and support improved and timely preparedness and response to forecast climate-related risks and vulnerabilities.

These objectives require developing in-country robust weather and climate observation capability, including now-casting and forecasting infrastructure which can be rapidly deployed, is relatively easy to maintain, and simple to use. Such a weather and climate monitoring system can provide Guinea-Bissau with the capacity necessary to develop: (i) an early warning system for severe weather; (ii) real-time weather and hydrological monitoring; (iii) weather forecasting capabilities (Numerical Weather Prediction); (iv) agro-meteorological information and services (including integrated crop and pest management); (v) applications related to building and management of infrastructure; (vi) tailored products for the mining planning and management; (vii) risk informed land, air and maritime transport management; (viii) integrated water resources management; (ix) adaptive coastal zone and land management; and (x) adaptation planning and policy making processes.

Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
National Institute of Meteorology of Guinea-Bissau (INM-GB), General Directorates of Environment & Hydrology, Guinea Bissau Ports Authority, National Directorates of Fishing & Disaster Risks Management, Directorates of Infrastructure and Land Management
Project Status: 
Source of Funds Pipeline
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$6 million (proposed GEF grant)
Co-Financing Total: 
US$63 million (Government of Guinea Bissau proposed co-financing)

Country Initiatives

Strengthening Adaptive Capacity & Resilience to Climate Change in the Agrarian & Water Sectors in Guinea-Bissau

Guinea National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA)

National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify priority activities that respond to their immediate needs to adapt to climate change, ultimately leading to the implementation of projects aimed at reducing the economic and social costs of climate change.

The Main Human Vulnerabilities and Livelihood Impacts identified in Guinea's National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) include:

  • Agriculture
  • Water Resources
  • Forests
  • Coastal regions

Increased Resilience and Adaptation to Adverse Impacts of Climate Change in Guinea’s Vulnerable Coastal Zones

The impacts of climate change on the Guinean coastal zone are predicted to adversely affect coastal economic development, coastal natural resources, coastal agricultural production and globally, food security.

Supporting Guinea Bissau to advance their NAP Process

A Government delegation from Guinea Bissau attended the NAP-GSP Africa Regional Training Workshop (Anglophone) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2014. Preliminary discussions took place with the government in July 2014 in coordination with the UNDP Country Office to initiate the NAP process.

Strengthening the Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Areas and Communities to Climate Change in Guinea-Bissau

Supporting Guinea Bissau to advance their NAP Process

A Government delegation from Guinea Bissau attended the NAP-GSP Africa Regional Training Workshop (Anglophone) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2014. Preliminary discussions took place with the government in July 2014 in coordination with the UNDP Country Office to initiate the NAP process.

Key Results and Outputs

Outcome 1 - Enhanced capacity of National Hydro-Meteorological Services (NHMS) and environmental institutions to monitor extreme weather and climate change. 

Output 1.1. Installation or rehabilitation (as appropriate) of 08 Tide Gauge Stations and 17 Limnigraphic stations with telemetry, archiving and data processing facilities

Output 1.2. Procurement and installation and/or rehabilitation of 40 meteorological monitoring stations, with telemetry, archiving and data processing facilities

Output 1.3. Procurement and installation of technology using lightning data for monitoring severe weather events

Output 1.4. Procurement and installation of maritime weather stations (AWS430), maritime observation console (MCC401), MetCast observation console (MCC301) in the 6 ports of Guinea Bissau

Output 1.5. Procurement and installation of 10-day site specific weather forecasting systems in the 12 major towns of Guinea Bissau

Output 1.6. Procurement and installation of satellite monitoring equipment to receive real time climate and environmental information

Output 1.7. Development and implementation of a capacity building program to provide Guinea-Bissau with the required capacity to operate and maintain the purchased equipment

Outcome 2 - Efficient and effective use of hydro-meteorological and environmental information for making early warnings and mainstreaming climate change into long-term development plans.  

Output 2.1. Development of a capacity building and institutional strengthening program to run hydrometeorological models and provide forecast and EW information

Output 2.2. Development of national capacity for integrating climate risk information into existing development planning and disaster management systems

Output 2.3. Development of a sustainable financing mechanism for the climate information production and dissemination system

Output 2.4. Development of new tailored climate information products for the users in the priority vulnerable sectors and locations (protected Areas, biodiversity hotspots, cash and areas agriculture, fisheries and natural capital), identified in coordination with the NAP process

Output 2.5. Integration of climate risks into the GB 2025 development strategy and related operational programs in coordination with the NAP process

Output 2.6. Development of an efficient and sustainable mechanism for sharing climate products and early warning information

Outcome 3 - Lessons learned by the project through participatory monitoring and evaluation, with special attention to gender mainstreaming, are made available to support the financial sustainability of the strategy.

Output 3.1. Project activities and impacts on global, national and local environmental benefits of MPA assessed and monitored.

Output 3.2. Project lessons and knowledge codified and disseminated nationally and internationally.

Output 3.3. Wider public awareness of climate services available and the benefits of their use achieved through comprehensive multimedia outreach and education campaigns

Contacts

UNDP
Henry Rene Diouf
Regional Technical Advisor