Aimed at supporting policy and decision-makers in the Member States of the region, adaptation and peacebuilding practitioners worldwide, as well as ongoing international climate change negotiations, this study has two complementary objectives: (i) to analyze the historical climate trends in the region, identify hotspots, and determine the potential implications for natural resource-dependent livelihoods; and (ii) to provide recommendations for improving conflict and migration sensitivity in adaptation planning, investments and policies across the region.
The report presents the findings of a unique mapping process analyzing climate trends over a 24 to 36-year period in 17 countries, from the Atlantic coast to Chad. The nine countries represented by CILSS – Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal – determined the core geographical scope of the study. However, given the transboundary nature of climate change, as well as migratory patterns and economic trade in these countries, eight neighbouring members of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) – Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo – are also included in the analysis.
The maps, which were produced through a technical cooperation with the University of Salzburg’s Centre for Geoinformatics, focus on four climate indicators based on the best available data: precipitation (1970-2006), temperature (1970- 2006), occurrence of drought (1982-2009), and occurrence of flooding (1985-2009). The potential impact of projected sea-level rise in the region is also mapped. The data is then combined to identify potential “hotspots,” including areas where the most extreme changes in the four individual climate indicators have taken place, as well as areas where the most cumulative change in these four climate indicators has occurred. Each map includes two