The primary objective of the ACCC project is to maintain or strengthen population and ecosystems resilience to climate change along the Canary Current coastline.
This project entitled ‘Adaptation to Climate Change - Responding to Coastal Change and its human dimensions in West Africa through integrated coastal area management’ (ACCC) is implemented in Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and the Cape Verde. It is targeting highly vulnerable communities in these five West African countries, and assisting them in increasing their capacity to adapt to long-term climate change including variability. Its design is done in the context of the GEF Strategic Programme for Adaptation (SPA) guidelines, so that while assisting communities to increase their adaptive capacity, global environmental benefits in the biodiversity focal area are simultaneously made resilient to climate change (cf GEF/C.27/Inf.10, para 26).
As the West Africa coastal zone hosts a number of protected areas containing globally significant biodiversity such as the Banc d’Arguin, Djoudj, Diawling, Saloum, etc, the project will contribute towards ensuring that global benefits in the GEF focal area of biodiversity are resilient to additional pressures of climate change. Although ecosystem integrity may be a necessary condition for the sustainability of these protected areas, it alone is not sufficient. The project makes an important contribution by ensuring that climate change concerns are better integrated with ongoing or planned activities that support ecosystem integrity including the management and use of biodiversity resources.
If adaptive measures to climate change effects including sea level rise are not supported, the biodiversity resources of these protected areas are unlikely to realize, in the long term, the full benefits of measures implemented (under conventional biodiversity projects) to promote and manage globally important biodiversity resources. In particularly sensitive ecosystems, significant and potentially irreversible losses are likely due to climate change. The maintenance of ecosystem stability in light of climate change is therefore a necessary condition for the management of biodiversity in the production landscape. In promoting measures that ensure resources and management plans to ensure ecosystem integrity are resilient to likely climate change impacts, facilitating improved integrated management of coastal areas (including resources in wetlands and island ecosystems) and promoting replication based on the experiences and lessons learned, the project will contribute to the improved management and sustainable use of biological diversity of coastal and marine resources in several pilot sites in the West African region.