Ghana Hosts WA BiCC’s Signature Training on Improving and Utilizing Climate Information for Adaptation Planning in West Africa

Ghana Hosts WA BiCC’s Signature Training on Improving and Utilizing Climate Information for Adaptation Planning in West Africa
June 25, 2018 11:18 am Blog

In October 2017, the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA BiCC) program and the National Adaptation Planning Global Network (NAP GN) organized a regional technical workshop in October 2017 to support the Integration of Coastal Issues into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). As part of the proceedings, WA BiCC supported participants to assess the capacity needs of practitioners and institutions in the region. The workshop also identified training of climate information providers and users on the use of climate information for adaptation planning.  To respond to this, WA BiCC organized a regional training workshop in Ada, Ghana from May 29 to June 1, 2018, to “Strengthen West African Capacity to Identify and Effectively Utilize Climate Information for Coastal Adaptation Planning”. The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana and participants included WA BiCC’s core regional partners, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Abidjan Convention, National Adaptation Plan (NAP) focal points, meteorologists from six West African countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo), and representatives from USAID Ghana’s Integrated Resource and Resilience Planning (IRRP) Program.

The workshop provided an opportunity for national experts involved in NAP processes to improve their understanding of climate science, critically evaluate climate information and to better utilize the information for adaptation planning through guided exercises, case studies and group work. Participants reviewed theoretical aspects of climate change planning, the data needed for implementation and applied some of the fundamental concepts from the theoretical session to assess their needs and map out a roadmap for information acquisition. During these sessions, “country groups” reviewed a series of country-specific documents to determine if climate information in their documents met a set of criteria that ensures that climate analyses and adaptation plans are robust. Where the climate information did not meet all the criteria, country members were asked to identify the gaps, the reasons for these gaps, and possible solutions to address them. Finally, based on the identified gaps, roadmaps were devised specifying the targeted actions required to address these gaps and detailed information on the institutions that should or would be involved, as well as the resources needed.

Beyond the learning and practice, the meeting enabled interaction, networking and exchange between participants. As a result, prospects for building a community of practice emerged. For instance, the National Meteorological Service of Cote d’Ivoire expressed interest in the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would facilitate the sharing of relevant climate data with the National Meteorological Service of Liberia, which had lost meteorological infrastructure as well as records during the civil war. Participants also expressed the need for an online platform to exchange ideas, experiences, lessons learned, and accomplishments on the topic of climate information. To build on the progress achieved during the workshop, country participants made a commitment to work closely with WA BiCC and its partners to finalize action plans that will further strengthen their collaborative work.

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