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ADAPTATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS: THE ROLE OF ICTS . Sixth Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change, 7-8 July 2011 Accra-Ghana DANIEL S. AMLALO AG. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EPA-GHANA . Structure of Presentation. Introduction Climate change- the challenge

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adaptation and climate change impacts the role of icts


Sixth Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change, 7-8 July 2011 Accra-Ghana



structure of presentation
Structure of Presentation
  • Introduction
  • Climate change- the challenge
  • Adaptation- What is it?
  • Climate Change adaptation and ICTs
  • Conclusion
  • Undoubtedly, Climate Change is one of the greatest complex development challenges of our time
  • Its impacts are already visible
  • Most recent scientific evidence shows the problem is worsening fast and is already stretching the ability of human and natural systems to adapt.
introduction cont
Introduction Cont.
  • In Ghana, most sensitive sectors of the economy such as agriculture, forestry, energy production, health, internal security etc. are threatened by Climate Change according to studies by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • How Climate Change is dealt with today will have a direct bearing on human development prospects in future
the challenge
The Challenge
  • Experts predict that in many sub-Saharan African countries, climate change could mean:

1. more frequent drought and floods

2. water scarcity

  • increased health challenges like under-nutrition.
  • These new challenges will not only make achieving the MDGs more difficult, but could also threaten some of the progress already made in fighting extreme poverty and diseases.
the challenge cont
The Challenge Cont.
  • Apart from those challenges above, there is high energy consumption in developing countries
  • Again most developing countries, especially, Africa has become fertile grounds for dumping of electronic waste (E-Waste)
  • Change of landscape, etc
  • These, coupled with other challenges could add onto the vulnerabilities of communities and systems to the impacts of climate change
projected impacts of climate change
Projected Impacts of Climate Change

Decline in agricultural productivity

  • The areas suitable for agriculture
  • the length of growing seasons
  • yield potential of food staples, etc are all projected to decline.
  • Some African countries could see agricultural yields decrease by 50% by 2050 and crop net revenues could fall by as much as 90% by 2100.
projected impacts cont
Projected Impacts cont.
  • Increased water stress: Changing climate patterns will have important implications for water availability in Africa. By 2020, an additional 75-250 million people in Africa are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change.
projected impacts cont9
Projected Impacts Cont.

Rising sea levels

  • Across the globe, sea levels could rise rapidly with accelerated ice sheet disintegration.
  • In Africa, highly productive ecosystems, which form the basis for important economic activities such as tourism and fisheries, are located in coastal zones.
  • In total, about 70 million people and 30% of the Africa's coastal infrastructure could face the risk of coastal flooding by 2080 because of rising sea levels.
projected impacts cont10
Projected Impacts cont.
  • Risks to human health: Climate change will affect human health through variables such as changes in temperature, exposure to natural disasters, access to food and air quality.
  • Threats to ecosystems and biodiversity: Changes induced by climate change are likely to result in species range shifts and changes in tree productivity, adding further stress to forest ecosystems.
adaptation what is it
Adaptation, what is it?
  • Responding to climate change requires action on two fronts: firstly "adaptation" to the consequences of current and future climate change and secondly "mitigation" of climate change by drastically reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, avoiding future emissions in developing countries and ensure carbon sinks, like the rainforest are preserved.
  • The term adaptation encompasses a broad range of responses that help governments, communities and individuals cope with the impact of climate change
icts and climate change adaptation some barriers
ICTs and Climate Change Adaptation-SomeBarriers
  • Availability, access to, and dissemination of information and knowledge remain among the most challenging aspects within adaptation processes, particularly in developing regions.
  • communication and information –about the problem, solutions and their implications- are the important needed aspects of the adaptation process
some barriers to effective adaptation
SomeBarriers to Effective Adaptation
  • The lack of useful information which is written in an appropriate, non-technical language, responding to local needs and priorities about alternative livelihood options, rights and entitlements, new agricultural methods, credit programs or relief efforts, among others, can constrain adaptive actions or even lead to maladaptation- within marginalised communities affected by climate change impacts.
barriers cont
  • Within this context, innovative strategies supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones, community radios, or the Internet and related applications, could help to overcome some of the barriers that arise throughout climate change adaptation processes.

Innovations around Infectious Diseases

  • Extreme weather events and changing climatic patterns associated with climate change have been linked to the spread of vector-borne such as malaria and water-borne diseases.
  • ICTs such as mobile phones, community radio and the Internet have the potential to enable information sharing, awareness raising and capacity building on key health threats, enabling effective prevention and response.
opportunities cont

Flood Safeguards

  • Climatic changes such as increased and erratic patterns of precipitation negatively affect the capacity of flood and drainage systems, built environment, energy and transportation, among others.
  • ICT applications such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can facilitate the monitoring and provision of relevant environmental information to relevant stakeholders, including decision-making processes for the adaptation of human habitats.

Weather Forecasting Technologies

  • ICTs play a key role in the implementation of innovative weather forecasting technologies, including the integration of community monitoring.
  • The use of mobile phones and SMS for reporting on locally-relevant indicators, for instance likelihood of floods, can contribute to greater accuracy and more precise flood warnings to communities.
  • Based on this information, authorities could design and put in more appropriate strategies.
opportunities cont18

More Resilient Crops

  • In the face of higher temperatures, more variable crop seasons and decreasing productivity, ICTs have the potential to enhance food security by strengthening agricultural production systems through information about :
  • pest and disease control
  • planting dates
  • seed varieties
  • irrigation applications
  • early warning systems
  • improving market access, etc.
opportunities cont19
Opportunities cont.

Water Purification, Water Recycling and Efficient Irrigation Systems

  • ICTs can contribute to the improvement of water resource management techniques, monitoring of water resources, capacity building and awareness rising.
  • Broadly diffused applications such as mobile phones can serve as tools to disseminate information on low-cost methods for desalination, using gray water and harvesting rainwater for every day uses, as well as for capacity building on new irrigation mechanisms, among others.
opportunities cont20


  • In addition to the role that sensors play in monitoring climate change by helping to capture more accurate data, research indicates that they also constitute promising technologies for improving energy efficiency.
  • Sensors can be used in several environmental applications, such as control of temperature, heating and lighting.
  • ICTs could play a major role in resilience building and strengthening adaptive capacity.
  • ICTs have the potential to tackle climate change uncertainty not only by providing access to information and knowledge, but also by fostering networking, personal empowerment and participation, facilitating self-organisation, access to diverse resources and learning, among others, which ultimately contribute to better preparedness and response, including the possibility of transformation in the face of climate change
  • The question for all of us today is; to what extent are these ICTs facilities/services available to those who are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially those in the developing world??
  • For instance in terms of;
  • Affordability especially poor farmers
  • Sustainable consumption and production (sustainable development)

4. Awareness creation/raising

5. Research development and education

  • Networking
  • Technology transfer