In semi-arid regions, a global temperature rise of 1.5℃ (and each interval of 0.5℃ thereafter) will have progressively severe local impacts. In this video we describe how average local temperatures increasing faster than the global average (and rising more with each interval of global increase), and intensifying climate extremes and changing rainfall patterns, mean that semi-arid regions will experience declining crop yields, shifts in water availability, compromised health of people and livestock, and additional pressures to livelihoods. Affected countries have growing evidence available to argue for emissions reductions in line with a 1.5℃ warming target, as proposed in the Paris Agreement, and at the same time push for adopting climate-resilient development pathways that acknowledge the threats of increasing temperatures and their associated impacts.
With a strong focus on understanding the factors that enhance or diminish people's vulnerability and wellbeing, and the responses they take to deal with both climatic and non-climatic stressors, ASSAR focused on the most marginalised. In particular, we sought to shift the adaptation narrative from centering mainly on infrastructural, technical solutions to forefronting and addressing some of the barriers posed by power structures, patriarchal norms and governance disconnects.
Gender inequality is a key factor making adaptation efforts ineffective, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Researchers and practitioners involved in ASSAR provided ample evidence to show that commonly-held beliefs about women being the most vulnerable and needing to be the target of interventions should be challenged as local realities show much more complexity and variance.
The changing climate in northwest Ghana puts farming livelihoods and food security at risk. Now a project with multiple strands — from youth engagement, to mobile phone apps, to community outreach centres — is empowering farmers with the knowledge they need to innovate and adapt.
ASSAR has been examining the conditioning factors surrounding adaptation action in four of the world’s semi-arid regions, with a specific focus on barriers and enablers to the uptake and success of adaptation. Here is what we found.
As part of their capacity building activities in Ghana, ASSAR organised a series of workshops to strengthen women's advocacy skills to challenge the environmental issues that affect them in their communities.
ASSAR Ghana, in partnership with local and national institutions, has launched Climate Advisory Resource Centres in Nandom and Lawra districts for the training of farmers and extension officers on climate change adaptation, water management and agronomic practices.
The imminent approach of the end of the ASSAR project has called for visits to the regional teams, to take stock of what has been achieved, plan exit strategies, agree on final outputs and give each other one last hug. ASSAR's project coordinator, Lucia Scodanibbio, reflects on a week with the West Africa Mali and Ghana teams.