Climate Change Adaptation in Africa: UNDP Synthesis of Experiences and Recommendations


Africa is at a tipping point. While efforts to achieve the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement could drive positive changes following nearly a decade of economic growth across Africa, climate change threatens to derail these gains. Given that temperatures in Africa are rising, and are set to rise faster than the global average during the 21st Century, it is time to mainstream, scale-up and accelerate support for climate change adaptation across the continent. Recent studies indicate it is likely that the true costs of adaptation will be substantially higher than originally projected and will require creative financial mechanisms and substantial engagement with the private sector to meet. While initial climate change adaptation initiatives show good potential for economic viability, livelihood enhancement and vulnerability reduction, long-term sustainability will depend on the prevailing levels of poverty, the wider context of policies and regulations, access to markets and financial services, as well as government capacity to provide continuous technical support to communities. This indicates that baseline development is still required to reach targets for poverty reduction and climate action in Africa. Building on the lessons learned from over a decade pioneering adaptation in Africa, a new generation of climate change adaptation initiatives are coming on board. To be successful, these projects will need to enhance adaptive capacity, improved decision making, access to markets, policy mainstreaming and evidence-based decision making.

This report provides an overview of a number of successful initiatives on climate change adaptation that UNDP supported in sub-Saharan Africa from 2000 to 2015. These signposts lay the groundwork needed to tap Africa’s vast resources and human talents to transform the continent and ensure a brighter future for generations to come, while at the same time providing valuable insights into global efforts to mainstream and accelerate climate actions in Africa and across the globe.

Executive Summary
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